Deer 3

Donald "Donnie" Lee Karns

November 9, 1936 ~ February 19, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


     Donald Lee “Donnie” Karns, age 86, of Harrisburg, passed away at 3:13 AM, Sunday, February 19, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family.

     Donnie was born on Monday, November 9, 1936 in Equality, Illinois, to the late Hobart C. and Lillie (Brown) Karns.  On May 28, 1955 he married Rita Jane “Mickey” Hines and she survives in Harrisburg.  Donnie was primarily a farmer, but he also worked as a truck driver, oil driller and a police officer.  He served as the Chief of Police at Equality for several years. He also cracked pecans and fished commercially. Donnie was a member of the Rocky Branch Social Brethren Church, the Egyptian Shrine Club, the Galatia Masonic Lodge #684, and the Musician’s Union out of West Frankfort.  Donnie was a country musician and singer. His band, Donnie Karns and the Drifters, performed all over the tri-state area in the 1960’s and 1970’s.   He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening.  Donnie sold sweet corn and garden vegetables to many patrons.  He was busy all the time.  Donnie was a good husband and father and will be greatly missed.

     In addition to his wife Mickey, Donnie is survived by three children, a son, Michael Eugene Karns of Equality; daughter, Rita-Dawn McMillan of Harrisburg; son, Christopher Lee Karns and wife Linda of Equality; seven grandchildren, Jordan VonKotz and husband Ron of Junction; Travis Warren and wife Kayla of Harrisburg; Alysha K. Tellor and husband Floyd of DeSoto; Kaylee Rice and husband Matt of Harrisburg; Makayla Karns of Equality; Dalton Karns and wife Nikki of Eldorado; Phoenix Wargel and husband Dane of Mt. Vernon, Indiana; six great grandchildren, Jayla, Avery, Averie, Anna Claire, Evelyn and Talon; and several nieces and nephews.

     In addition to his parents, Donnie was preceded in death by a son, Stephen Donald Karns; son-in-law, Claude David McMillian III; daughter-in-law, Marna Karns, brother, Kenneth Karns, sister, Wanda Crowe, sister, Juanita Joyner, and brother David Karns. 

     Graveside services for Donald Lee “Donnie” Karns will be held at 2 PM, Thursday, February 23, 2023 at Cottage Grove Cemetery.  Rev. Ernie Fowler and Rev. Pete Slivinski will officiate. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald "Donnie" Lee Karns, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
February 23, 2023

2:00 PM
Cottage Grove Cemetery
Grayson Road
Harrisburg, IL 62946


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