Eugene Donald “Gene” Karst, 88, of Russell, Kansas, passed away, Friday, August 18, 2023 at the Russell Regional Hospital in Russell.
Gene was born April 4, 1935 in Galatia, Kansas. He was the son of Theodore and Rebecca (Morgenstern) Karst. At the age of 10, his family moved to Russell where he attended schools. He graduated from Russell High School in 1953. He then attended two years at Ft. Hays State University.
Gene was united in marriage to Janice (Langhofer) Jack on March 22, 1953. This union was blessed with three sons; Steven, Darrell and Audie. Later on, Gene and Janice divorced. Later he was united in marriage to Vera F. Stewart on August 24, 1971. They made their home in Russell. Vera preceded him in death on August 20, 2009. Later on, he developed a close relationship with Carol McKenna.
Gene was the owner and operator of the Gene’s Service Station in Russell from 1964 to 2000, when he retired. He also owned the Handy Car Wash and Easy Muffler Shops located mainly in western Kansas. He was a professional Photographer and did many shoots for Race Way Photos. He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Russell. He also belonged to the Russell Elks Lodge, the Amateur Trap Shooting Association and the Kansas Trap Shooters. He had many hobbies throughout his life being an owner and pilot of many planes, restoring vintage cars, raising bird dogs, hunting, golfing and collecting guns.
Gene’s surviving family include his two sons, Steven Karst (Deb) of Russell, Kansas and Darrell Karst of Russell, Kansas; step children, Terry Branick (Joe) of Overland Park, Kansas and Clay (Karen) Stewart of Great Bend, Kansas; companion, Carol McKenna of Russell, Kansas; 11 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Vera; son, Audie Karst; sister, Lillian (Karst) Shelton and 1 grandchild and 3 great grandchildren.
Visitation for Gene will be held from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Wednesday, September 6, 2023 with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers a Memorial in Gene’s name has been established with Russell Youth Trap Shooting Team in care of Pohlman-Varner- Peeler. A private burial of ashes will take place at a later date. Condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, Russell, who is in charge of these arrangements.