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Carl Henry Schlegel

Tulsa, Oklahoma -- Carl Henry Schlegel, 95, former Hays, Kansas, resident, died Monday, December 23, 2013, at his new home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He was born April 26, 1918, in Otis, Kansas, to John Henry and Leah (Kerbs) Schlegel. He received his early education at Otis and was attending Kansas University when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Friends urged him to apply for a college deferment, but he declined, saying his country had been good to him and he owed something back.

He served nearly four years in the 3rd Infantry Division from Fedala North Africa to Berchtesgaden Germany. After 68 years, when he thought of his two best friends getting killed, he still cried. He was also heard to say he wondered who would be responsible for all those deaths, the American, British and German boys who pulled the triggers or someone of high echelon who ordered them to do so.

Soon after the war, he met and married Darlene Brack on June 9, 1946, in Otis, Kansas. To this couple, two sons were born, Marcus Carl and Kurt Lynn. Both boys graduated from Oklahoma State University as engineers. In 1950, he was employed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as a mechanic, eventually being promoted to assistant plant superintendent at the Otis Helium Plant. With the demand for helium increasing, the bureau decided to design and build another plant near Keyes in the Oklahoma panhandle.

He spent the next 20 years at a job he liked very much and retired only because he lost his hearing. During this time, Darlene worked as a nurse at Cimarron Memorial Hospital and for Dr. Wheeler at Boise City, 15 miles west of Keyes. The family thoroughly enjoyed the 20 years at Keyes, just like the Otis area. It was a farming community with oil patch and gas field thrown in. The people were hard workers and very friendly. It wasn't long, and they considered themselves members of the community.

After retiring, Carl and Darlene lived in Guymon, OK, Broken Arrow, OK, and Aurora, CO, before moving to Hays, Kansas, in 2003. They were members of Messiah Lutheran Church.

He leaves his wife of 67 years, Darlene, of the home; two sons, Marcus and wife, Judy, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kurt, Aurora, Colorado; one grandson, Kevin and wife, Lindsay; and one great grandson, Anton, all of Plano, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Mildred Briery and Ruth Weigend.

Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, December 28, 2013, at Messiah Lutheran Church, 20th and Main, Hays, Kansas, with military honors by the Hays VFW Post No. 9076, and Pastor Kenton Rohrberg officiating. A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Otis Methodist Cemetery, Otis, Kansas.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Messiah Lutheran Church.

Memorials are suggested to the Salvation Army. Cline's Mortuary of Hays, 1919 E. 22nd, Hays, KS 67601, is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences can be sent via email to clinesmortuary@eaglecom.net.