Karl Lee Bogataj, our forever cherished husband, father, grandfather, and friend, was called home on April 6, 2021, at the age of 66, in St. George, Utah.
On June 13, 1954, Karl was born in Rock Springs, WY, to Lorraine (Dena) Nigra and Joseph (GoGo) Bogataj. Karl spent the majority of his life in Rock Springs. After he retired from FMC, he and his wife, Barb, moved to St. George, Utah.
Karl was an avid fisherman and hunter. Every summer at the Flaming Gorge fishing in his beloved baby blue boat, known as the Blue Sardine. During hunting season, Karl was always found in the mountains enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful Wyoming wildlife. He had a keen eye for anything that moved, or so he said. Although hunting and fishing meant more than just filling tags or catching fish, it meant spending quality time with his family and friends creating timeless memories.
While Karl was here with us, we were blessed to learn many valuable things from him. Karl was a man that never cut himself short. If you have the opportunity to do something, do it. Never, ever slam that door. Never let your kids or grandkids slam a door. If a bat takes residence on your porch, spray it with a hose to flush it out. If that doesn’t work, a broom will help change its mind. Exercise is essential, so go on walks but walk as fast as you can. Spend time in the sun without fear of sunburn. If your car has a sunroof, let your head hang out of it, enjoy the wind on your face and have the best view of the road. Fiats do indeed fit on the sidewalk, and Karl didn’t mind proving this theory to put smiles on his family’s faces. Buy a hot tub because it’s a great place to watch the sunrise. Never let your friends drink alone, and never let your glass get low. Go to Costco for a free lunch. Buy the Black Licorice that no one likes because that means there is more for you. “Don’t look back; the dust will choke you.” Trust your gut. There is always more to win when gambling, but let your wife drag you out of the casino. There will always be a bigger buck; you just have to look harder. Sometimes you might be too broke to pay attention. You will always have the opportunity to earn more money, but memories can only be made once, so take that day off.
Karl married the love of his life, Barbara Jones, in 2002. He and Barb enjoyed spending their time together traveling and sightseeing, which eventually led them to purchase a motorhome. They made every mile count and toured frequently. They always made time for a glass of wine with a good dinner. Barb was Karl’s best friend, and anyone who knew them knew they were meant for each other. They cherished every memory and took every opportunity that their life together had to offer.
Karl was the younger brother to Frank Bogataj and brother-in-law to his wife, Kathy. He had three children: Tyra Zueck, Karlee Bogataj, and Kyle Bogataj. He also had two bonus daughters of which he claimed as his own: Stephanie Jasperson, and Amber Knapp. He was father-in-law to Kyle’s wife, Brittany Bogataj, Stephanie’s husband, Jon Jasperson, and Amber’s companion Norm Knapp. He had ten grandkids, Jaylee Shalata, Ashtyn Jasperson, Lexi Knapp, Genessa Timmons, Gavin Jasperson, Blayson Bogataj, Haylee Jasperson, Braxton Grenier, Kybrie Bogataj, and Bentley Bogataj. He also had one great-grandchild, Alaynah Householder.
Anyone lucky enough to know Karl knew him as the life of the party. As Karl would say, “just one more.” Karl was a social butterfly, and he enjoyed meeting new people. He loved everyone, and a quick trip to Home Depot would turn into an hour-long catch-up with someone he saw there. Karl had the biggest heart and always aimed to make everyone he met feel welcomed in his life. The countless laughs, stories, and the forever cherished memories of our father, grandfather, and friend will never be forgotten. Karl is etched into the hearts of his loved ones, and his legacy will forever live on.
Goodbye is not forever, and goodbye is not the end. It simply means until we meet again.
Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will take place Sunday, May 16 from 4-8 p.m. at Marty’s, 1549 Elk St, Rock Springs, WY.