In Memory

Karl Wochner

Karl Wochner

Pat Moffatt and Chuck Holly both advised of the Passing of our classmate Karl Wochner: Chuck was kind enough to write a few words about his long friendship with Karl

Deceased Classmate: Karl Wochner
Date Of Birth:
Date Deceased: 10-22-2010
Age at Death:
Cause of Death: cancer
Classmate City: Tempe
Classmate State: AZ
Classmate Country: USA
Survived By:

Karl was a good friend from elementary school thru high school. He displayed a sharp mind, a wonderful sense of humor, and accepted leadership roles when called upon. Other of his friends can tell you more about his accomplishments and leadership abilities that blossomed in his adult life, but I remember a friend who was kind and generous.


Karl Edward Wochner

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Wochner, Karl Edward
Karl Wochner, 67, died peacefully in his home October 22nd 2010 following a valiant 17 year battle with cancer. At the time of his death he was surrounded by his loving family. Karl was born January 22nd,1943 in Oxford Nebraska. He was the son of Evelyn McKain and Raymond Edward Wochner, who would later become a revered long-time educator in Arizona. The family moved to Tempe in 1952 and Karl attended Payne Training School, and later became involved and was a soloist in the Choirs at Tempe First United Methodist Church, Tempe High School and his beloved Arizona State University. He was student body president of both Tempe High School (1960-61) and Arizona State University (1964-65). He was a charter member of the first graduating class of the Arizona State University Law School, graduating in 1970, and went on to become President of the ASU Alumni Association. He was named an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1973. He began his career as Tempe's Assistant City Attorney for 10 years before going into private practice. It was significant to Karl to give back to his community. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Tempe, where he served for 38 years. Karl served as President in 1996-97, was recognized as Mr. Interclub, and received a Hixson Fellow award from Kiwanis International, recognizing his lifetime service to Kiwanis. His eldest son David joined the Kiwanis Club of Tempe in 1994 and became the club's President in 2001-2002. They are the only father-son pair to have both served as KCOT presidents. For many years Karl was also a member of Tempe Diablos, President of the Tempe All-City Association board, a founding member of the Tempe YMCA, and Tempe St. Luke's Hospital board of directors. Karl and his wife of 25 years, Cathy, raised three sons: David, John and Mike. They were the joy of his life. He was their greatest supporter, whether it was basketball, baseball, football or school elections. Karl and Cathy remained with the church choir and sang duets together for more than 40 years. Karl later married Shar Rice and they enjoyed 17 years together. Karl's devotion to his family was ever present. He drew strength from the family as his disease progressed and became more painful. He was courageous to the end, always thinking of others and not complaining. As a life filled with honor and tempered with a deep sense of humor, this and his sons will be his legacy. Karl is survived by his three sons: David Karl (Melinda), John Edward (Laura), and Mike Harris (Donna). Also 11 grandchildren: David's Jessica, Grace and Ryan; John's Erin, Brooke, Kasey and Nathan; Mike's Clinton, Kaitlin, Madison and Makenlie. He was also survived by his brother Dean and an abundance of friends and admirers who were touched in many ways by his caring and devotion. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sanctuary Choir of Tempe First United Methodist Church, 215 East University Dr. Tempe AZ 85281. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday October 28th at 1:30 at Tempe First United Methodist Church, with a reception following. Visitation will be Wednesday evening October 27th from 6:00-8:00 at Tempe Mortuary, 405 East Southern Ave.,Tempe.

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10/24/10 02:29 AM #1    

Eldon Smith

I  could reflect on the good times with Karl at the Payne Training School, Choirs at the Tempe Methodist Church, TUHS and ASU, including his activities as student body president of TUHS and ASU.  He was an active member of Kiwanis for many decades, served the Tempe community with pro bono work as a lawyer, and the list could go on and on.  To be succinct, I will just say I had the honor of being his best man at his wedding and having Karl as best man at my wedding.   I am thankful I could visit with Karl the last few days of his life.  He maintained that quiet sense of dignity, kindness, and humility even when suffering from illness. 


10/25/10 09:53 AM #2    

John Hollis

 If it is possible for one to have a "hero" one's own age, then Karl was my hero through high school.  I admired his leadership qualities as seen through the many offices he held and served well through-out our high school years.  I admired his musical, acting and speaking talent as seen in the many plays, musicals and speech contests in which he excelled.  And most of all, I admired his integrity and honesty.  He will be missed!

10/27/10 03:42 AM #3    

Pete Wood

 I was sorry to hear about Karl's passing.  I remember him as a friendly classmate at TUHS.  We sang together a lot in the CHORUS, and I will never forget singing with Karl (and others) at the service for Kenneth Wells, just a few years ago.  Bon voyage, Karl.  Best wishes to your family.


Pete Wood

10/27/10 07:35 AM #4    

Sharon McGaughey (Carter)

Our hearts go out to Karl's family. Karl was always very polite, had a wonderful smile and we remember his singing abilities. We will miss him.

Gene and Sharon (McGaughey) Carter

10/27/10 10:34 AM #5    

Susan Coulson (Condon)

My mother always wanted me to marry the Wochner boy.  Reading of his accomplishments, he certainly would've been a catch.  It was no surprise to see of his successes, but I'll always remember Karl as one of my nicest classmates, who happened to be smart and talented.  I hadn't seen Karl since high school but I was reminded how wonderful he was 10 years ago at the reunion.  A very sad loss.

10/27/10 02:23 PM #6    

Tom Krill

This is a moment of solemn reflection on the life of one of our most outstanding classmates.  As others have commented he always bore a cheerful and positive outlook.  I never heard Karl speak ill of anyone.  Such a personality in life is rare and a gift really to anyone who was fortunate enough to know him.  For a number of years we kept in touch as he handled the very limited legal needs we had in Arizona, even coming to my Mother's house for her signatures when need be.  Our prayers go out to his family and may his memory remain with us always.

Tom Krill 

10/14/11 05:01 PM #7    

Ralph Bell

Before I met Karl, I was one of the many students taught music by his mother Mrs Wochner at Tenth Street School. She was quite a talented lady and she was patient with many non-talented kids.  

Karl and many classmates attended Payne Training School, but we all merged at Tempe Union HS.  I think Karl inherited his musical ability from his mom.  He played first violin in our HS Orchestra, first under lead of Jerry Howard and finally under Bernard Curry.  I also played violin and others were Elissa Montgomery on cello, Jean Mikuleky played viola, Tom Krill played bass.  The Jones girls joined us bringing Ginger on cello, Linda on viola and Karen on violin. 

Karl was a prince among us.  He also was a star performer in our high school plays and a vocalist as well.  He was always calm, kind and collected... traits we all admired. 

Over the years, several times my family called upon Karl for some legal advice and landloard vs tenant letters.  He was always happy to help in such minor problems.  I traveled the world and always Karl treated me as if I never left the valley.

We talked and joked at our 40th TUHS Reunion and I thought Karl looked well.  I was counting on seeing him again.  I was proud to know Karl over the years as were many others whom he touched. 

We are certainly not surprised at the many successes that Karl saw over his lifetime.

God speed to Karl, always a gentleman.


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