Raymond Karlin


(Apr. 14, 2007)

Ray Karlin, 81, died at his home in Powell on Saturday, April 14, following a long hard fight against mesothelioma, an asbestos cancer of the lungs.

Ray was born Dec. 7, 1925 near Beulah, N. D., the 10th and last child of Rosina (Weisenberger) and George Karlin. He graduated from Beulah High School in May, 1944, and promptly enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June of 1944. He served in the Pacific and was in Tokyo Bay when the peace documents were signed.

Following the military service, Ray returned to North Dakota to work a short time, then enrolled in Montana State College of Bozeman for one year. He then moved back to North Dakota and attended Minot State Teacher’s College where he received his B.S. degree. His first teaching job was in Landa, N. D.

On June 2, 1953, he married Isabell Schwegman, who was a registered nurse employed at the hospital in Minot. To this union were born four children: Rose Marie, Kathryn Ann, Jean Louise, and Steven Ray.

Ray pursued his further degree of Education specialist at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. The Karlin family spent eight years in Regent, N. D., one year in Hamilton, Mont., and nine years in Meeteetse, where Ray was a superintendent of schools.

The tragic death of Jean Louise in 1964 from a devastating bout of croup at the age of 2 years and eight months left the family inconsolable. They found solace in a move to the McKenzie River Valley for the 1971-1972 school years.

The torrential rains that fell that winter made it a mandate to accept a position of assistant superintendent of schools in Powell at the request of Superintendent Neal Large. They remained in Powell until Ray’s retirement in December of 1987. They wintered in Yuma, Ariz., until Isabell’s death in early 1996, also a cancer victim.

Ray then married Betty Van Wagoner Johnson in May of 1997, and they enjoyed 10 years together, fishing, traveling, and spending time at the cabin on the North Fork.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, one sister, and a daughter, Jean Louise.

He is survived by his wife, Betty of Powell; two daughters, Rose Marie (Jerry) French of Powell, and Kathryn Ann (Dave) Crane of Arlington, Texas; one son, Steven Ray (Mary) Karlin of Garden City, Kans.; brothers, Rolland, Alt, and Andrew Karlin; and sister, Martha Donahue Portola of California; grandchildren; Adam and Elise Crane of Arlington, Texas; Zachary and Reagan Karlin of Garden City, Kans.; John French of Milwaukee Wisc,; Dan French of Sheridan; and Casey and Brittany French of Powell, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Rosary will be said on Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m., at St. Barbara's Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday April 19, 10 a.m., at St. Barbara’s. Visitation will be one hour before the rosary on Wednesday night, and one hour before the Mass on Thursday.

Donations may be made to the Powell Medical Foundation and Powell Valley Healthcare Hospice. Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.