Audie Lee Karst was born September 7, 1954, at Ellsworth Hospital, the son of Gene Karst and Janice Jack, and departed this life at Russell Regional Hospital on November 15 at the age of 58 years, two months, and eight days, after a yearlong battle with cancer.
When he was nine months old, he was diagnosed with Nephrosis, an advanced stage of Bright’s Disease which in his case is a rare, incurable kidney disease for an infant. His family was told he would not survive but a few months. With this diagnosis, he was admitted to Kansas University Medical Center for experimental treatment where he spent nearly five years in treatment. When he was finally allowed to remain home on a permanent basis, his paternal grandparents Ted and Rebecca Karst of Russell took him to live with them because his health condition and immune system required a guarded living environment. He was one of very few young patients to survive the disease. Audie lived all his life in a guarded manner. He loved and cherished his grandparents but also longed to live and share his childhood years with his parents and brothers. He shared this lifelong yearning with a number of family members and friends. But he also knew the doctors’ advice was best for his survival. He was pleased to recently visit with one of the main physicians (now retired) who treated him at the KU Medical Center. That physician was amazed that Audie could live and accomplish so much when hope for survival was questionable.
Audie attended Russell schools and grew up to become a farmer for his grandparents on a number of farmland properties.  He later owned and operated a number of trucking businesses and managed several area auto racing tracks.
Audie met and married Carolian Hupfer and to this union two children were born: a son Jason who lived only a few minutes after birth, and a beloved daughter, Ashley, who currently resides in Aurora, Colo., with her fiancé Eric Gilbert.  Audie and Carolian later divorced but remained best friends and shared a special companionship through the years. Audie and Ashley had a special father-daughter bond which allowed the two of them to share and enjoy together the love of nature and life as it should be.
Audie and Carolian shared a great interest in antiques and collectibles. They traveled many miles seeking these treasures. Through the years they became well educated and very knowledgeable as they acquired, traded and sold their collections. It’s been said, “Audie had a sharp, keen eye for antiques and collectibles. He is able to add historical facts to these items, too, due to personal research and a remarkable memory of yesteryear. Not many folks include the historical aspect to their collectible efforts.”
Farming and auto racing were among his passions for life. His greatest passion was being with his many friends whom he referred to as “sister and brother friends.” Additional passions included doing good things for children during holidays and special community events. He was instrumental in Toys for Tots in both communities of Russell and the Lake of the Ozarks area. Audie donated countless hours to a fishing derby event for youngsters, also in the Lake area. He demonstrated a special interest and love for children whenever he saw or felt the need. He was a board member and officer in the development of a community park at Osage Highlands Point where he and Carolian resided at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
In his own words, Audie said “I just love being with people and doing things with them. That’s why I enjoyed managing the race tracks…watching people and especially the kids...enjoy being happy.” He made friends, easily, and during his few years residing in Great Bend he continued making friends and spending quality time with each and all of them.
Audie is survived by his companion Carolian, daughter Ashley and fiancé Eric Gilbert; father Gene Karst of Russell; mother Janice Jack, Lake of the Ozarks; brothers Steve (Deb) Karst of Russell and Darrell Karst of Houston, Texas; a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and many special friends. Preceding him in death include a son Jason; paternal grandparents Ted and Rebecca Karst; maternal grandparents Sam and Dolores Langhofer; stepmother Vera Karst; stepfather Walter Jack.
Just minutes after Audie passed, his beloved daughter Ashley said “Tonight we lost a great person and this world is a lesser place now without the fun-loving and joking man he always was. Rest in peace dearly loved Audie, my dad.”

Celebration of Audie’s Life will be held at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at St. John Lutheran Church with Pastor Roger Dennis officiating.  Burial will follow at the St. John Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 9 AM to 8 PM Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6 PM to 7 PM.  A Memorial has been established as the Audie Karst Memorial Fund.  Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.


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