Karl Miersemann

February 7, 1941 – January 15, 2023

Horst Karl Arno Miersemann passed away Sunday evening, January 15, 2023 in Santa Rosa, California, at 81 years of age. He will be so deeply missed and always hold a special place in our hearts.

Karl was born in Tanzania, where his parents immigrated during the political turmoil that eventually led to WWII. When he was 6 years old the family returned home to Germany and lived in Berlin. Karl spent those years navigating a divided capital, learning the intricacies of negotiating with American, British, French, and Russian soldiers. He lived through the famous Berlin Air Drop and remembers the candies that fell from the sky. He sang in a boys choir and developed a lifelong love of music. Karl’s family immigrated to Mill Valley, California in the 1950’s when he was 15 years old. He spent a year at Tamalpais High and worked with his sister at a local restaurant. After graduating high school he spent some time working for PG&E and learned to navigate dogs as he read meters. Karl served in the National Guard for 5 years, and later became an American citizen. After his discharge, Karl enrolled in San Jose State University where he earned an Industrial Engineering degree. There he also met his future wife Sherrill Evans. After graduation Karl’s career in the Aviation industry took him traveling the world. He would later regale his friends and family with stories from his travels; he taught his daughters about different cultures through his many adventures and stories as well as traveling with them and encouraging their travels abroad. He and Sher married and started a family in San Jose, where they had their first two daughters. He moved into the Water industry which led him and his family to Illinois in the 1970’s. There he learned the water and pipe industry and their third daughter was born. They moved back to California and settled in Sonoma County in 1981 before welcoming their fourth and final daughter. Karl spent the rest of his career in the Water industry, and in Sonoma County. With his engineering knowledge and people skills he built a career working with utilities, cities, states and countries, specializing in and advising the best way to manage water distribution in earthquake prone zones, and was considered an industry expert when he retired in 2016.

Always an athlete, Karl grew up playing soccer and loved coaching his daughters’ teams over the years. He was an active tennis player at La Cantera Racquet and Swim Club with numerous wins and plenty of fun over the years. He enjoyed competing until his health began to fail in 2019. He was a member of Saint Mark Lutheran Church, enjoying the fellowship and singing. Karl was intelligent and a teacher by nature, happily sharing his knowledge with anyone around him. His daughters grew up learning many of his skills from doing math calculations, to working on cars, to repairing a sprinkler. Karl was an advocate for Women’s right and believed women belonged in positions of power. He had a lot of respect for women; appreciating and learning from both their intellect and experience. Karl loved nature; the beauty, the colors, the birds in his yard, and promoting conservation in the broader world; always donating, always learning, always trying to make the world better.

Karl was known for his sense of humor, had an infectious smile and loved to laugh. He was dedicated to family and to his daughters, who grew up spending countless nights with cousins; watching him laugh and sing with his parents and sisters. Karl opened his home to relatives from Germany who came to live and go to school in California, as well as many visits from family back home. He kept those connections alive and went back with his mother to reconnect with lost family after the Berlin Wall came down. His children enjoy those connections today and are grateful. Karl was a proud and loving father and grandfather who successfully passed on to them his love for playing soccer, skiing, driving performance cars, and watching the World Cup!

Karl is survived by his four daughters and their husbands; Heidi and Thad Fabish, Jamie and Patrick Lynch, Kristy and Lauren Mackey, and Katie and Brenton Taylor, as well as his sister Brigitte Miersemann Collins, six grandchildren; Margarete ‘Greta’ and Emmett Lynch, Madelyn and Liberty Mackey, Bradley and Carson Taylor, three nephews; Eric Collins, Karl Collins, Heyder Alsaffar and one niece Cynthia Alsaffar O’Mahony. He was preceded in death by his parents Margarete Riemer and Helmut Miersemann, his sister Renate Miersemann Querry, and his brother-in-law John Collins.

Please join us for his Memorial service on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 11:00am at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, at 4325 Mayette Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95405. His cremains will be interred at Santa Rosa Memorial Park, at 1900 Franklin Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 with his immediate family members. A special bird bath memorial will be dedicated in his honor should you choose to visit.

To those who wish to make a donation in his memory, the family suggests one of his favorite charities: the American Heart Association, the Sierra Club, Ocean Conservancy, or Greenpeace.

Click here to donate to American Heart Association

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