Thomas Sylvester Karl

Thomas Sylvester Karl of Seattle, Washington passed away unexpectedly on February 24, 2019 at the age of 66.  He was born on April 1, 1952 in West Bend, Wisconsin to Sylvester and Mildred Karl (née Backhaus). Growing up he attended the West Bend school system and he held a master’s degree in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Thomas had a lifelong love of forestry and, as a young man, worked for the DNR at Kettle Moraine North, Mauthe Lake Recreation Area, a 70-acre lake located in Fond Du Lac County Wisconsin as a forest ranger.

He was a resident of Seattle, Washington for over 35 years and worked in the field of medical technology and laboratory science. Prior to his retirement, he was employed by Northwest Hospital and Medical Center of Seattle.

Survivors include his sisters Kerry Lynn (William) Ferris of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and Marie (Steve) Lowell of Alma Center, Wisconsin; nieces, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Sylvester and Mildred Karl of West Bend, Wisconsin, and brother-in-law Randolph Vande Vrede of Fort Atkinson.

His family would like to thank the members of Fire Station 18-Ballard; the six engine and three ladder companies; and caring neighbors, who responded to this situation.

Barton Family Funeral Services in Seattle is arranging the return of his remains to Wisconsin.



9 Responses to “Thomas Sylvester Karl”

  • Mary (Schwamb) Seiser says:

    I was so sorry to hear about Tom. Seeing this news today brought back so many memories of our happy days on Sandy Acres Rd – the all-day Monopoly or Rummy games, the boy’s clubhouse in the backyard, the day trips to Mauthe Lake, and the Halloween parties at one of our houses. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Andrew T Gonring says:

    I may not have seen Tom since high school, but I remember him well. Would have been nice to catch up with him at next year’s 50th class reunion. Sad to see he’s gone. Condolences.

  • Bonnie Parish says:

    Tom, you will be missed. I remember you as a kid that loved insects and snakes. You certainly went into the field that you loved. It’s too bad that we didn’t see more of you. You made an imprint on this earth and on the people that loved you.

  • Sarah Bina says:

    Love you Uncle Tom. I will always remember your quirky sense of humor. You had such a wonder and respect for all life, especially animals and nature. I used to sleep in your old room at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and was always intrigued by your insect collections. You will always be my favorite Uncle!

    Your Favorite Niece,

  • Victoria Schara says:

    After I heard of Tom’s passing I began reminiscing of all the fun times we had as kids. I always looked forward to seeing Tommy and his siblings at family get-togethers.Tommy’s love and passion for nature was infectious. As kids, we loved playing together and exploring. Those memories made so long age still put a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. I regret that we didn’t get to spend more time together. I always looked forward to seeing Tommy and he will be missed.

  • Lisa Sosinske says:

    RIP uncle Tom❤

    I have many fond memories of you growing up. The one that stands out most prominently in my mind is that of Footsie ,the racoon, that you saved from Mauthe Lake when you were a forest ranger there.
    I remember all the weekends staying over at grandma milly and grandpa Syl’s, sleeping in your old room and looking through your butterfly and insect Collection. I admired and respected you so much.
    You’re gone way too soon.
    Love, your oldest niece ❤ lisa

  • Peter Kissinger says:

    Tom I remember the.days camping with your folks and the days I was camping at Long Lake and you stopping in to visit. Rest In Peace and say hi to your folks when you enter the lords kingdom

  • William Ferris says:

    Kerry Lynn and I enjoyed your many phone calls: always humorous, politically observant, and filled with anecdotes. Your phone calls were followed by mail with newspaper articles, local Seattle news and cartoons, usually from The New Yorker, both funny and political. We looked forward to them. You took great interest in our travels through the Badger State and always asked how the Brewers, Packers, and UW sports teams were doing. Ironically you mentioned coming to visit us, perhaps, this summer. Your long journey is over. You are home in Wisconsin and at rest.

  • Sandee (Becker) Frederickson says:

    Mary and Kerry
    My deep sympathy in the loss of your brother Tom.

    Mary-it brought back so many memories of our early childhood friendship. I remember riding my bike to visit you (past the florist with the whistling parrot ). Your parents were always so welcoming.
    I remember your house….with the garden in the back yard. And Tommy had his collection of framed insects in his room-always proud to show me.

    I hope you will try to attend out next (good gosh, the 55th !) reunion
    It would be wonderful to see you.

    Sending Sympathy and Prayers

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