Through the years, Esther would try, often unsuccessfully, to persuade Karl to join her Sunday mornings at St. Peter Lutheran in Joliet, but Karl preferred golfing to preaching.
However, following Esther's death in 2011 (After “75 years, three months and 24 days of marriage,” Karl once said), Karl became more open about religion – listening to Jon, who had a deep relationship with God, and asking Jon questions.
"Dad became a strong believer at that point," Jon said. "It took the edges of that hard German core and he became a tender, humble person."
Still, Karl rose at the same time each morning, exercised, prepared breakfast and then made fruit cups, which he offered to anyone who visited him.
Karl had a fabulous memories. His recollections went back to age 3, Jon said. He loved listening to people as well as relating stories of the various people he'd met throughout his life, Jon said.
"When we went out to eat, he wouldn't sit at our table," Jon said. "He had to go visit and talk to people, whether it was someone he knew or someone he didn't know."