Thomas J. Karel

Thomas J. Karel

Thomas J. Karel

July 27, 1949 – Sept. 25, 2019

Thomas Joseph Karel was born July 27, 1949, in Cumberland, Maryland, the son of John and Ann Beatrice (Bryan) Karel and passed away Sept. 25, 2019, in Lincoln at the age of 70 years, 1 month and 29 days.

Tom grew up in the St. Louis area where he attended school and graduated in 1967. After high school he attended Passionists Seminary in Warrenton, Missouri, and later studied business at Creighton University. He had a series of different jobs before moving to North Platte in 1979, working for Holiday Inn and becoming the food and beverage director. He then married and had his three sons. Tom later moved on to be the general manager of three different country clubs in North Platte, Scottsbluff and Sterling, Colorado. He opened his own restaurant, Choppers, in Gering and ran it for three years before moving to Springfield, Missouri, where he lived for 12 years. Tom moved back to Nebraska in 2017 to be closer to family.

In his younger years, Tom’s passions were hunting, politics and college sports (specifically and importantly Missouri athletics). He had a radio sports personality named Harry Holiday where he would predict college scores and had commercials advertising the Rush Limbaugh Lounge. His later passions were spending time with his sons, their families and his granddaughters. He also enjoyed bird watching and watching Hallmark movies.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ann Karel.

Those cherishing his memory are his three sons, John Karel of Ramstein Airbase, Germany, Joseph and wife Amber Karel of Pleasant Dale and James M. and husband James A. Sleight of Seward; five granddaughters; seven siblings, John Karel, Stephen and wife Harumi Karel, Kevin and wife Denise Karel, Mary and husband Tom Reedy, Robert and wife Joy Karel, Charles Karel and Barbara and husband John Murphy; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

A memorial service was held Sept. 30, 2019, at Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home in Seward, with Monsignor Robert Tucker conducting the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Karel family for future designation. Condolences may be sent to the family at