Wayne L. Karnei, 85, passed away peacefully in his sleep July 12, 2019.
He was born September 11, 1933, in Weesatche, Texas to Amalia and Louis Karnei. Starting with his Papa “Louie” as young as five years of age, Wayne spent his summers picking cotton, harvesting corn, and whatever else needed doing on the family farm. Wayne graduated from Nordheim High School in 1951, worked in the oilfield, and was a student for a stint at Sul Ross State College in Alpine, TX. He loved sports and was an avid baseball, softball, and football player.
In 1955 Wayne was drafted into the Army where he was a combat demolition specialist serving in Germany with the Third Armored “Spearhead” Division. Wayne earned the rank of Specialist (SP4) by the time he was released from active duty. In 1957, Wayne met Dona Brantley whom he married in 1959 (This year, they celebrated their 60th Anniversary). After settling down and having the first two of their children, Wayne was reactivated by Uncle Sam in 1961 to train at Fort Benning, Georgia for the growing conflict in Viet Nam, but was honorably discharged before heading overseas for the burgeoning conflict.
Ultimately, Wayne and Dona settled back in Goliad where he worked for Texas Eastern from 1958 until he retired in 1994. They had three children, Kirt, Kori, and Kevin. Wayne enjoyed spending time with his family and was passionate in all his many endeavors whether hunting, fishing or taking care of his cattle. He always made sure that family vacations were epic in nature and filled with camping, fishing and fun. He loved the comradery of all his hunting buddies on Colorado and New Mexico trips and made sure his family had opportunities to hunt, fish and enjoy the great outdoors as well.
Wayne was a strong man, hard worker, great provider and faithful friend. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Wayne L. Karnei becoming a Master Mason at Cameron Lodge 76 in Yorktown. He was a member of Goliad Lodge 94, an endowed member with the Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. & A.M, and a Past Master of the Goliad Lodge. Most recently, along with son Kevin, he proudly participated in his grandson, Kristofer Karnei’s entry into the lodge. Here at life’s end, he will be appropriately honored by his brother Masons.
Mr. Karnei is survived by his wife Dona; two brothers, Harlan and Pete; children Kirt (Rhonda), Kori (Mike), and Kevin (Tracy); 6 grandchildren and their spouses; and 8 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters, and 3 brothers.
Visitation is Monday, July 15th 5:00-7:00 at Grace Funeral Home in Goliad, Texas. The funeral service will be Tuesday Morning, July 16th at 10:00 at the Grace Funeral Home Chapel. A Masonic Memorial Service will be part of the program. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Glendale Cemetery with reception following at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Memorials may be given in Wayne’s honor to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Weesatche and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Goliad.