Wm. Karn Surveying Inc.

Bill Karn and his Mother

William Karnauskas AKA Bill Karn was bonr in Niles Ohio in 1924 to parents who had emigrated from Lithuania. In Bill’s family there were three brothers and a sister, Bill was the youngest of the family. Bill’s mother worked for the man who invented the “hot dog”.

Bill Karn and this Boy Scout Troop

Bill attended elementary and high school in Niles, Ohio. He was a member of the Boy Scouts.

During World War II, 1943 through 196 he bounced around. He had basis training with the 66th Division in Florida and Arkansas. Then he transferred to the Air Corps and again had basic training (slow learner) at Amarillo TX. He started 1944 with the 92nd College Training Detachment at N. W. State Teachers College in Alva, OK. With less than a couple of months to finish, the directive came out that all former members of the infantry must return.

Pvt. Bill Karn & buddy – US Army

He transferred to the 86th Division, 342nd Infantry Regiment and started advanced basic. The Division, serving in Germany and Austria, was one of the last over to Europe and one of the first to return. On VE Day he and some of his buddies were drinking some of Hitler’s private stock. The next day at Berchesgarden there wasn’t a drop left. The French had moved in during the night and took away truck loads.

Bill went to work in Fallbrook in 1952 for Leroy I & John C. Weeks Surveyors. One of his first jobs was helping survey land in the Santa Margarita River being condemned in preparation for the proposed dam, which the Fallbrook Public Utility District intended to build.

At that time their office was inh the basement of the Weeks’ home on Iowa St. It was later moved to Vista.

With work being slow, Bill also worked with Don Dresselhaus, surveying and helping with the boundaries of the Mutual sater districts which are now included in Rainbow MWD. He also worked for a time for the Public Works Dept. of Camp Pndleton.

Bill went back to work for John Weeks and worked in a new office building, K Realty Mart, et al, just south of McDonald’s on South Main Avenue in Fallbrook.

In 1957 Bill purchased the Fallbrook business from John Weeks and in 1959 also purchased John Weeks’ Vista office.

In early 1960 he moved the Fallbrook office to a building he had purchased at 129 West Fig Street. Later Bill sold the building to Jack Tanner and rented it from Jack but later bought it back with Drs. Ernie & Ethel Paul.

Later John came to work for Bill for several years. Bill was a member of the Balley Center Rotary Club. He got booed when he made up at the Fallbrook Club. He also was a member of the Avocadians, a group promoting the community of Fallbrook. He was a member of and president of the Chamber of Commerce. Bill and his wife Cathy got to ride the Avocado Express, bringing people down from Las Angeles and other cities by train to the Avocado Festival.

Bill served on the Board of Directors of the Fallbrook Public Utility District and was a Special Districts Representative of LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission). Before the Special Districts were represented, if he wanted anything he needed three votes to win. After they expanded to 7 members to allow 2 Special District members he still needed 3 votes.

For over 20 years, Bill has been volunteering with St. Peters Church as Eucharistic Minister working in the community and with patients in the Fallbrook Hospital. Recently however, the Patients Bill of Rights has placed restrictions upon this work in the local hospital.

Bill used to enjoy playing golf around the north county. He got to play with Duke Snyder and a couple of other in the first foursome to play at the Fallbrook Country Club.

Bill Karn loved to fly his airplane from Fallbrook Air Park

Bill obtained a private pilot license and owned his own plane, flying out of the Fallbrook Air Park. Bill, with many others, spent numerous hours at the Fallbrook Air Park and when evening came they wound up a Rusty’s Ammo Room sharing their adventures. John Violet and family put up a thatched shack for a tower. They always made sure that everyone returned safely before they went home. It was an unwritten rule that if one of the pilots was stranded someone would go get them. Bill flew twice across the Untied States.

Fallbrook Air Park
Bill Karn and John Violet made sure everyone got back to the field safely

Bill has enjoyed traveling in the United States and Europe, visiting the village in Lithuania where his parents were raised and he made contact with cousins he had never heard of. He loves Ireland. He goes over to recharge the Blarney Stone and has been known to have a Guinness or two. Bill spent some time in Italy, Switzerland, British Isles, Poland, Austria and Germany. He told of visiting ]and celebrating Christmas Eve 1963 in Oberndorf, Austria where Joseph Mohr, a young priest introduced the Christmas carol Silent Night, Holy Night the St. Nicholas Church on Christmas Eve 1818.

One of Bill’s big problems is that he doesn’t know who he knows and doesn’t know. (These are his words.)