Pasadena Man Killed in World War II Pearl Harbor Attack is Laid to Rest in Emotional Ceremony

After nearly 78 years after being killed in Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Oklahoma, U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli remains are carried to be buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, Ca., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.A photograph of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli is on display at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, Ca., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.After nearly 78 years after being killed in Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Oklahoma, U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli remains are carried to be buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, Ca., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.After nearly 78 years after being killed in Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Oklahoma, U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli remains are carried to be buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, Ca., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.Family members of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli watch as NOSC LA fold the U.S. flag that covered the casket of John Albert Karli during the funeral ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.Family members of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli watch as NOSC LA fold the U.S. flag that covered the casket of John Albert Karli during the funeral ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.Marilyn Long the niece of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli is given the U.S. flag during the funeral ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.David Snyder the nephew of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli places his hand on his uncle\'s casket during the funeral ceremony.U.S. flags are placed at the grave of Albert Karli and Hildur Rudin, the parents of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli, who will buried next to his parents. Marilyn Long the niece and David Snyder the nephew of U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class John Albert Karli pay their respects at a picture of their uncle.

By DONNA BALANCIA | Photography by JAMES CARBONE

4:48 am | May 2, 2019


It took almost 78 years but war hero U.S. Navy Seaman First Class John Albert Karli has come home.

Karli was among the 429 servicemen killed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. He was only 19 years old.

He was honored Wednesday at a military service at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, where he was laid to eternal rest.

Karli’s long-overdue homecoming was attended by his remaining family and he was given a hero’s welcome complete with flag-bearing and military members on hand.

The casket which holds the remains of Karli was ceremoniously carried by fellow Navy servicemen and placed beside the graves of his parents Albert Karli and Hildur Rudin, as per their wishes.

It was a fitting service for the Pasadena-born war hero, who attended McKinley School through eighth grade and graduated from John Muir High School in June of 1940. Karli was the catcher on the John Muir High School varsity baseball team and was co-captain. He played on the Pasadena Junior College baseball team.

Karli signed up for the Navy. He was stationed on the USS Oklahoma in Honolulu, which was torpedoed and sank, killing the servicemen aboard. The majority of the dead were unidentified and were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

The family never lost hope over the many passing years that one day information about Karli would be discovered.

In 2012, Karli’s family requested a DNA exam. Karli’s parents had passed away since, but they were reunited with their son in an emotional military service as their war hero was laid to rest beside them at the hilltop cemetery.

Karli was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, World War II Victory and American Defense Service medals.

At the service, which was attended by Karli’s niece, Marilyn Long, and nephew, David Snyder, a casket containing Karli’s remains was carried to his eternal resting place. Snyder placed his hand on his uncle’s casket in an emotional show of remembrance.

Scientific advances in DNA discovery technology have enabled many of those killed aboard the ship during what was the deadliest wartime attack in U.S. territory to be identified.