Richard J. “Dick” Karas, 92, of Aurora, formerly of Addison and Boca Raton, FL and born in Chicago passed away Feb. 15, 2018. Beloved husband for 47 years of the late Joan A. Karas, nee Slack; loving father of Mark (Sue), Mary (Mark) Anello and stepfather of the late John Bucz; cherished Papa of Kathryn A., Shannon and Jackson Karas, Taylor A. and Hunter Anello and Edwin and Joshua (Megan) Bucz; dearest great grandfather of Charlotte and Dylan Bucz; treasured brother of Robert (the late Shirley) and Joyce (Dave) Beutler and brother in law of the late William (Helen) Slack and Mary (Robert) Sanwald; fond uncle and great uncle of many; dear former father-in-law of Kim Mix.
Dick was an Army Veteran of WW II and later in life published the book “Everything The Army Had To Offer”, a book recollecting his experience from college to combat to command during an odyssey of World War II. During his service for the United States Army, 100th Division, 399th 1st Battalion, Dick was able to make many contributions as a messenger, soldier and commander. He was awarded the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Citation for his contribution to the troop movement division. In addition, his 399th Infantry Regiment was given a Battle Honors Presidential Citation for their bravery and heroics during a fierce battle at the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Dick was honored by the USO to stand on the United Center ice for the National Anthem prior to the Chicago Blackhawks game in March of 2013 and on July 29, 2015, he was offered and accepted the opportunity for the memorable experience of taking an Honor Flight to Washington DC to see the National World War II Memorial. Dick was a true patriot and an American hero.
After returning from the war, Dick went on to the University of Illinois where he graduated as a Chemical Engineering major. He met and married the love of his life, Joanie, in 1961 and worked for major corporations such as Corn Products Refining, RR Donnelly & Sons and Nalco Chemical. He spent the majority of his career, however, with American Can Company in the research and development lab where he developed 6 patents including the pull top ham can. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Campbell’s soup can as well as the lid with a partial flip top for Nestle’s Quick containers. He retired in 1990.
One of Dick’s favorite pastimes, was bowling. He was a member of the Bowling Hall of Fame and bowled seven 300 games during his bowling career. Dick also enjoyed golfing, opera and traveling, having found his favorite restaurant, Planet Halibut in Ketchikan, Alaska while on an Alaskan vacation.
Dick found his greatest joy in his family. He loved attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events. He was extremely proud of his family and all of their accomplishments and his presence at all family gatherings and events will be deeply missed.
Dick’s deep rooted faith was nurtured and further strengthened by his membership at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Aurora. He was also a former active member, usher and volunteer of the First Presbyterian Church "The Pink Church" in Pompano Beach, FL and former member of the Oaktree Country Club in Tamarak, FL.
A memorial visitation will be held Friday, March 2nd, 10 AM until time of Memorial Service at 12 Noon at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 N, Edgelawn Dr., Aurora. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Honor Flight Chicago,938 W. Montana Street, Chicago, IL 60614.
Donations may be made to:
Honor Flight Chicago
938 W. Montana Street, Chicago IL 60614