Carl Edwin Arft was born June 27th, 1925, in Lamar, Mo., to Roy and Mable (Hollingshead) Arft. Carl passed away Jan. 26, 2018, in Republic, Mo.
He grew up in the Kenoma area. Carl graduated from Lamar High School in 1943. At age 19, he was drafted into the Army and was sent to Camp Fannin, Texas. After four months of training, Carl was sent to the Philippine Islands serving in the 6th Infantry Division as a 1st Scout. His division was scheduled to invade Japan when the war ended abruptly by the advent of the atomic bomb. After the war, Carl went to Korea for eight months of occupation duty.
Upon his return to Kenoma, Carl married Helen E. Gardner on Oct. 14, 1947. They purchased a small travel home and drove to Hanford, Wash., where Carl worked on the construction of the atomic bomb plant. In 1949, Carl and Helen moved to Challenge, Calif., where Carl worked in the logging business with his brothers-in-law, Don and Rex Gardner. To be closer to family, they bought a farm two miles north of Milford where they built a large farming operation and raised cattle. Carl and Helen worked together, complimenting each other's strengths, making their farm successful. In 1996, part of the farm was sold and they relocated to Lamar.
Carl became an insurance agent for the Barton County Mutual Insurance Company and in 1957, he was appointed as a director. Later, he went into an insurance partnership with Floyd Joyce. After Floyd retired, Carl and Neil Smith formed an affiliation. Neil and Carl merged with Richard Ryan and Gary McManis forming the Lamar Insurance Agency, from which he retired at age 65. After retirement, Carl continued to display his entrepreneurial spirit by starting and building a viable used oil field pipe business for corral construction. As well as selling the pipe, he also assisted in corral design. In 1996, he went into business with Henry Taffner, and the collation became known as Arft/Taffner Pipe Yard. Carl retired from this venture in 2008.
Carl served on the Lamar Community Betterment Board, Boy Scouts of America, and Barton County Health Department. Additionally, Carl was a member of the Milford Christian Church, Lamar Masonic Lodge, Springfield Abou Ben Adem Shrine, Barton County Republican Party, and the Greatest Generation. He served on the board of directors for the Barton County Mutual Insurance Company for 60 years and he was a member of the Lamar Masonic Lodge for 65 years.
Helen preceded Carl in death on June 14, 2016.
Carl is survived by his two daughters, Carland (Jim) Dorris, of Republic, Mo., and Susie (Mark) Keepper, of Tulsa, Okla. Also, surviving are two grandchildren, Carlen Shea Baptista and Jarub Baird from Carthage, Mo., and four great-grandchildren.
Although Carl enjoyed practical jokes, he could laugh at himself. This was evidenced when the Lamar Community Theatre performed "Murder in Martin County", a parody on Carl's black/white trash bag prank.
Carl will be remembered for his ready smile, practical jokes, willingness to help anyone, and gift of conversation. He was loved by all.
The family will receive friends immediately following a Masonic Rites Ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29th, at Daniel Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30th, at the funeral home. Burial with full military honors will be in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Shriners Hospitals for Children in care of the funeral home.
Published on January 28, 2018