Earl Joseph McKarns

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Earl Joseph McKarns

Earl Joseph McKarns, 90, of Kensington, OH left to farm the fields of heaven on the morning of July 3rd, 2023 surrounded by his family. 

Earl was born to Donald and Verona McKarns on February 12th, 1933. He was a devoted and active member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Summitville. After graduating from Salineville High School, Earl served in the United States Navy as a welder during the Korean War until 1955 when he returned home to do what he loved – farming. 

Earl leaves behind his wife of 65 years, Nedra; his children, Laura (Dan) Raybourne and Dan McKarns; grandchildren, Stacey Randolph, Stephanie (Josh) Stinemetz, Tim Randolph Jr., and Bailey McKarns; and was a beloved “Great-Grandpa Cow” to Gavin, Autumn, and Evan Shouldis. He also leaves behind his two brothers, Bill (Pauline) McKarns and Father Jim McKarns, sister-in-law, Ruby Wade, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. 

Earl believed in hard work and spent his life working in his fields, raising dairy and beef cattle, and managing his farm. He was passionate about helping others create successful farms through rotational grazing, and traveled the world teaching others the art of farming. Earl loved learning, story-telling, and sharing his jokes. He never met a stranger, and was blessed with the gift of gab.

Earl had a very successful career in farming. He served as the president of the Ohio Cattleman’s Association, and was one of the founding members as well as the first president of the Ohio Forage and Grassland Council. Earl was twice awarded with Seedstock Producer of the Year, OCA’s Industry Excellence Award, as well as a Bob Evans Leadership Award. Earl was involved with the Ohio Beef Council, the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation, and a member of Volunteer Overseas Cooperative Assistance where he volunteered on farms in Slovakia and Zimbabwe. He hosted thousands of visitors at his farm during dozens of field days and workshop programs. Additionally, he was a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, Carroll County Farm Bureau, American Angus Association, and the Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association.

Earl loved traveling the world with his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; especially, exploring New Zealand, walking the hills of Ireland, fishing at West Arm Lodge at Lake Nipissing, Canada, road trips out West, and touring the land at the Biltmore. One thing all of the trips have in common is that Earl always had his eyes on the fields and never on the roads.

Earl will be remembered at a service to be announced at a later date.

May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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