Carl F. Searing II, 88 of Eau Claire died on Monday, October 24, 2016 at Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Eau Claire.
Born Carl Fowler Searing II on January 27, 1928 to Carl Fowler Searing and Mildred (Sutton) Searing in Trenton, NJ. They moved to Millington, NJ where his dad was a civil engineer and mother was a secretary. It is said that his maternal grandparents were related to some who came over on the Mayflower. Carl lost his father at the age of 6, and his mother than moved Carl and his twin sisters to Trenton, NJ where they lived with his maternal grandparents. His grandfather passed away, leaving a family of grandmother, mother, and three children. Carl’s mother died about two years later and the children were then put in the Masonic Orphanage in Utica, NY where Carl lived until the age of 17. He attended school in Utica and graduated from high school there. Upon graduating at 17, he then worked at the heating plant at the orphanage.
Just after WWII, Carl became an ordinary seaman in the Merchant Marines for eight months. Carl was well traveled as a young man. He took the Greyhound to Seattle, WA where he was hired by the St. Paul Tacoma Lumber Company. He worked there until going to California where he got a job with Norris Manufacturing as a press operator in Huntington Beach, CA where he pressed out bathtubs and propane tanks. He said it was a good place to work and the company kept up with the pay scale that other industries were getting.
Carl worked in California for a while and then went back east and worked on a farm. He then headed out to Idaho and landed in Wallace where he had little money, no place to live, and eventually be put in jail for vagrancy. Carl walked to Kellogg which was 12 miles away where he was hired by the Sunshine Mining Co. He worked in the silver mines for 4 months and then headed back east where he farmed. Being restless, Carl went back east where he worked for the Utica Steam and Boiler Works as a boiler fireman. Carl figured he went a total of 35,000 miles on Greyhound traveling back and forth, east to west and back again.
Carl had been 4F for military duty for 7 years and then was drafted into the army on September 19, 1952. He was a Private E1 at Fort Devens, MA and Fort Dix, NJ. He was honorably discharged due to being too tall and bad eyes on December 24, 1952. He never considered himself a veteran because he was only in the service 3 months and 6 days. He then met the love of his life, Elizabeth Sawyer and they were married on May 9, 1953. Their only child, Carl III was born almost a year later.
While working full time he began taking classes in electronics. He then applied at GE, was hired, and worked there for 13 years during which time he attended college at night taking English through Syracuse University in outlying Utica College. It took him 6 years but he got his degree. Carl and his family left Utica and settled in Madison, WI (1968-1970) where he went to UW -Madison, getting his Masters in Library Science. In 1970 he was hired by UWEC as a librarian and worked for 4 years until becoming the purchasing agent in Maintenance and retiring in 1992. After 9 months of retirement, he went back to UWEC where he worked in the Lock Shop 6 months of the year for 9 years.
Carl has done much in his life-all of which he enjoyed very much. He loved being a caregiver for his wife, Liz, when she needed him most. He did hot air ballooning for several years as the “crown line man”- going to nationals 4 years. He was a Ham radio operator-call letters W9NW which he particularly enjoyed doing with his son. Carl used to scuba dive in Saratoga, NY back in the day. He found coffee cans full of fishing lures while out and gave them away. He was an active member of 4 model railroad clubs which brings him so much joy. He used to have a 1941 Indian motorcycle which he loved to ride and upgrading to a BMW later on which was another thing young Carl loved to do with his dad. Carl did stained glass which is displayed at his home. He enjoyed listening to classical music and early jazz done before the 1940’s. Carl’s deviled eggs were legendary and he shared many unique quotes and stores about his life with his friends. An interesting, caring, and thoughtful person he was indeed. He collected books and enjoyed every one of them. At the age of 86, Carl bought a Segway-so many enjoyable hours were spent on this. He was the oldest person in the state to have a Segway and rode it as often as possible. He loved going out for breakfast and having coffee with friends.
Preceding him in death was his wife Liz, who passed away in 2013 after 60 years of marriage and his son, Carl III in 2008. Also preceding him were his parents and sister, Mary.
He is survived by his sister, Charlotte Boles; niece, Debbie (partner Karen Ramsey) Barnard of Melbourne, FL; daughter-in-law, Mara Lee Searing of Pittsville, WI; and nieces, Mary Jean in NJ, Barbara in VA, and Donna in TN. Carl had many friends and was a great friend to many others including dear friends from out east, Don and Jean Skelly of Sauquoit, NY, fellow model railroader, Steve Durbin, neighbors Karen and Adolph King, Lee and Nancy Marek, and Sue Eliott of Burnsville, MN.
Memorials are preferred to the little railroad in the park, Community Parks Association, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703. Please put little railroad in the park in the check memo. Carl was truly one of a kind! He will be missed by many.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Smith Funeral Chapel. Burial will take place at a later date at Holland Patent Cemetery in Patent, New York.