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A Wetzel and Son Obituary for:
Bruno Karnas
June 5, 1934 - April 16, 2020

Public Events and Locations

Visitation - Saturday, June 5, 2021, 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Wetzel and Son, Rockledge
Masonic Service - Saturday, June 5, 2021, 11:00 AM at Wetzel and Son, Rockledge
Memorial Service - Saturday, June 5, 2021, 11:15 AM at Wetzel and Son, Rockledge


Funeral Home - Wetzel and Son Funeral Home - 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-663-8550 - Map
Family Florist - Blake Florist - 5 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-379-8787 - Map

Bruno Karnas was born on June 5, 1934 in Kalvarija, Lithuania of German descendants from Augsburg. When World War II broke out, his family returned to Germany for fear of Soviet persecution. Bruno lived in Schleswig-Holstein and later moved to Düsseldorf. There he obtained his “Meisterbrief” as a butcher. He immigrated to the United States in 1956 and married Astrid a year later. Their children, Ingrid and her husband Michael and John and his wife Sylvia have given them five grandchildren: Erika, Chris, Katie, Tori and Jake.

After arriving in Philadelphia, Bruno was active in many German-American organizations including the G.T.V. Almrausch Schuhplattler dancers, the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein (honorary director), the United German-American Committee (former president), the Bayerischer Volksfest Verein (former director), the Hermann-Humboldt Lodge No. 125 F.&A.M., and the German-American Police Association.

In 1981 Bruno was elected President and General Chairman of the Steuben Day Observance Association and held this position for many years. He initiated German Day in the City of Philadelphia to raise money for the annual Steuben Parade. Bruno was appointed to serve on the national German-American Tricentennial Committee with celebrations here in Philadelphia and in Krefeld, Germany. Under his leadership, a German-American Sommerfest was started at Penn’s Landing.

Bruno worked for many years as Chief Inspector and Director of Food Services for the City of Philadelphia having been appointed to this position by Mayor Frank L. Rizzo.

The Federal Republic of Germany honored Bruno in 1984 with the prestigious Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Cross of Merit,1st Class) in recognition of his decades of promoting German-American friendship.

Over the years Bruno was asked by several Philadelphian Mayors to welcome dignitaries and visitors from German speaking countries on their behalf. Bruno always used these opportunities to build goodwill and friendship between his original homeland and his new homeland in the United States of America.

In 1990 a section of the Berlin Wall was brought to the Philadelphia area through the efforts of the German-American Committee of Philadelphia under the leadership of Bruno Karnas and is now displayed at the Vereinigung Erzgebirge in Warminster, PA.

The officers and board of directors of the United German-American Committee of the USA honored Bruno as the recipient of the distinguished German-American of the Year in 1996.

After retirement, Bruno split time between Philadelphia and Cape Coral, Florida. During the winter months, he skied at Camelback Mountain. He had a season pass there for many years and skied well into his 70’s. When in Florida, he enjoyed boating as well as hosting his children and grandchildren when they visited.

Bruno and Astrid moved to Southampton Estates in August 2017 where he lived until his untimely death from complications due to COVID-19.

Relatives and friends were invited to his visitation on Saturday, June 5, 2021 from 9:00 A.M. and memorial service at 11:00 A.M. at Wetzel and Son Funeral Home, 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046.

Religious services were conducted by family friend Rev. Eugene Zaiser.

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