John O. Karns

John O. Karns, Esq., 86, passed away on November 6, 2020, at his home in Lower Pottsgrove, PA. He was the loving husband of M. Louise (Renninger) Karns, with whom he shared over 60 years of marriage.


Born in Meadville, PA, on September 23, 1934, John was the son of the late John G. and Claribel (Kough) Karns.


John received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a partner at the law firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews, and Ingersoll in Philadelphia for 26 years. He and his wife then moved to the Allentown area where he opened his own law practice. He served for 6 years in the United States Army Reserve.

John was involved with many civic and international organizations throughout his life, but particularly enjoyed his involvement with the Kiwanis Club of Allentown and The Lutheran Historical Society. He loved to travel, hike, and especially enjoyed sitting down to read a good book.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Karns is lovingly remembered by his son, Byron Karns, MN; his daughter, Joan Karns, Lower Pottsgrove, PA; his grandchildren, Natalie Bourman-Karns and Samuel Bourman-Karns; his daughter-in-law, Julie Bourman; his in-laws, Doris Callow, Frank and Nancy Renninger, Shirley and Bob Cressman, Carl Renninger, and Fran Heffner; and 18 nieces and nephews.


He is predeceased by his sister, Joycelyn Montney; brothers-in-law, Roy Jay Montney, Paul Callow, and Kenneth Garner; sisters-in-law, Esther Garner and Mary Ann Renninger; and nephews, Mark Callow and Chris Cressman.


A webcast of John’s services will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2020, beginning at 11:45 a.m. Please visit to view the webcast. If you have any questions, please call 610-323-8220.


A graveside service will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, 2941 Lutheran Rd., Gilbertsville, PA 19525. Pastor Scott Staub and Father Michael Renninger officiating.


Houck & Gofus Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA 19464, will be handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s memory to New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church.


The family would like to thank Audrey Bentley for her loving care of John, as well as all of the staff at Brookdale Hospice, especially Celeste Koenig, Harley Willman, & Dr. Blackstone. We were truly blessed to have you in our lives.