Dr. Otis Kenneth Karr Jr.

March 27, 1928March 11, 2018

Dr. Otis Kenneth Karr Jr. died quietly on Sunday March 11 at Brookdale Easley, two weeks before his 90th birthday.

Ken was born in Champaign Illinois to Ruth White and Otis Kenneth Karr. He grew up in a largely rural community, helping his maternal grandparents on their farm. He was taught to hunt by his grandfather Joseph White, and participated in 4H. By high school age he proved to be an athlete, and played basketball and football for Arthur high school in Arthur Illinois.

He served in the United States Army Air Forces as it transitioned into the United States Air Force and worked as a mechanic on the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star which was the first jet fighter used operationally by the USAAF.

Ken achieved a PhD in Physical Education from the University of Illinois, and embarked on a career in coaching and later athletic administration at the University level. He coached at Eastern Montana College, the University of Illinois, and at Wake Forest. Ken entered athletics administration at University of Arizona Tucson, and went on to be Athletic Director first at San Diego State University and finally at East Carolina University. He was also a member of the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Committee for many years.

Ken moved to South Carolina in 2011 to be near his daughter Julie and her husband Bob Martin. He was met with neighborly kindness and enjoyed being back in a small town atmosphere.

Throughout his life Ken enjoyed fishing, hunting, sports, playing golf and cards, and music. He loved to sing, especially the songs of Frank Sinatra. Ken was a quiet man with a wonderful sense of humor who enjoyed helping people reach their goals. He will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his two daughters, Julie Karr (Martin) of Pickens, South Carolina and Laura Karr Arlov of Oslo, Norway, and a grandson, Jon Kenneth Arlov. He is also survived by his sister Mrs. Norma Jean Jordan of Goldsboro, North Carolina.

A Memorial Service will be held on the 20th of March at 6:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Wounded Warrior Project ( or a charity of your choice.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Dr. Otis Kenneth Karr Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rhiannon Gilreath

August 29, 2018

I got to telling a friend of mine this evening about Coach. I told him that Coach was a gentle giant who let me watch football with him and let me talk smack about whoever I wanted to as long as it wasn't East Carolina. I truly appreciated the days when Coach was there in clarity because we would talk about Illinois football because that's my stomping grounds. We would talk a lot about John Deere because I was born and raised in Moline. He always told me he knew where that was. Even if he was humoring me, it meant a lot because we were both far from home. I figured that I would leave a memory again because apparently the one that I left when he passed didn't take. He made my time at the Magnolias a very entertaining time. I still miss him every day. Thank you Julie for sharing your dad.

Stacy Cortez

March 29, 2018

I will forever remember Ken as a giant teddy bear with a heart of gold. One Christmas Eve, he and Priscilla stayed with us. My husband was at work late, but I had a lot to do to get ready for the next morning. 😉 Ken stayed up late with me helping me string together a difficult toy. He saved me a lot of time but more than anything I loved sharing that time of my son’s childhood and the wonderment that comes on only Christmas morning with Ken and Priscilla.

Although my time with Ken was brief, he left a big impression on me and my heart. I will always think of him with love and appreciation. I feel so blessed to have known such an amazing, wonderful man.

My family sends our deepest condolences and our love to Ken’s immediate family and friends. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Cindy Cregier

March 22, 2018

I remember visiting with Ken when we lived in Las Vegas. Always such a gentleman. So glad he was able to be with you in his later years, Julie. Very special! Much love to your entire family.