Gilderoy Lockhart

Shared by Louise Black on 22nd November 2018

In 2014 we celebrated my oldest daughter's 10th birthday by throwing an elaborate Harry Potter party.  Most of the family joined in as a character.  My favorite transformation was Carr.  Naturally, I cast him as the spectacularly handsome blonde teacher that all the girls were in love with.  He wasn't as theatrical as the rest of the family, and wasn't familiar with the story.   So, in true Carr form, he did background research beforehand and invested in the right tools for the job.  While most of us were wearing old curtains and repurposed Halloween costumes, Carr dazzled in the most spectacular tailored costume, complete with purple cloak and a garish wig.

The children were divided into the 4 Hogwarts "Houses" and rotated 15 minutes at each of 4 classes.  Carr was the "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but because he had done his research, knew his character would be spending most of the time talking about himself.  The best sport of the day, Carr spent an hour entertaining children with tales of his greatness while forcing them to pose with autographed pictures of himself.  

We decorated his classroom with pictures I took of Carr earlier in the day. I will always treasure that photo shoot with Carr.  It was a silly idea - Gilderoy Lockhart was a vain character, so we just filled the room with different over-the-top poses of himself.  Carr was a sweet combination of embarrassed and serious all the while making the perfect poses for the character.  One of the frames we used still holds the picture of Carr - I was never able to reuse the frame because it was just too perfect.  It makes me giggle whenever I see it.  It was a perfect day and he was such a big part of it.

Carr was an amazing brother-in-law and Uncle.  I have some great memories of events and moments with him, but it's his general presence that I will treasure the most as I hold on to who he was.  I will miss the way he moved his hands and rocked from foot to foot.  I will miss him poking the fire and fetching drinks from the fridge. I'll miss the way he stood tall and leaned back when he opened a bottle and how he cracked a lobster claw with such intentionality .  I'll miss him calling the kids "germ sacks" while spoiling them on the side.  I'll miss the way he always reached over to his right shoulder to straighten or pull some invisible thing down.  Just being around Carr being Carr was enough.  I will never stop missing the little things his presence brought to our family when were all together.  I thank God for the time we had and trust in the promise of the resurrection and the day we will all be reunited.

Christmas Eve Master Helo Pilot

Shared by David Kratovil on 21st November 2018

When Carr, Kristi, Salty, Thor & Loki visited Carr's sister-in-law and brother in Connecticut for Christmas 2015, Sara, Drew (Carr's cousins) and I presented Carr, Werner (brother) and Stephen (father) with miniature, wireless remote-controlled helicopters on Christmas Eve as a grownup toy, dexterity test and just for fun.  

These were quite difficult to control while being very zippy once successfully off the deck.  Well, of course, the two landlubbers, father and brother, could not get them airborne though mastered the ground flight technique of skidding sideways crashing into dogs, babies, furniture, Christmas decorations, etc.  Carr, the US Navy E-2D Hawkeye Maestro, after a self-imposed preflight indoctrination and thorough control sensitivity analysis, launched his into the ceiling, executed a complex auto-rotation mid-air recovery and proceeded to terrorize everyone throughout the house with much glee and laughter!  As we left, we smiled at the periodic shrieks and laughter that followed us out the door.  

This was a wonderful Christmas Eve gathering creating great memories which we will never forget.  Sara, Drew and I are terribly saddened by Carr leaving us at such an early age though we know he is in a peaceful place watching over all his loved ones and good friends with the company of Lulu, Mimi, PopPop and Pots.  We will miss him greatly.

Remembered always, Cousins Sara, Drew and Uncle David

Shared by Robert Lofberg on 20th November 2018

Weekends with Carr at his parent’s beautiful home in Greenwich are a fixture of my childhood memories.  Steve and Barbie were parents like no other.  I can remember Steve hitting baseballs to Carr, Werner, and me for hours, afternoons on the boat, and epic games of manhunt with the unforgettable backyard zip line.  The Kratovil home was a place where it was fun to be kid.  It was such a warm and loving home that I was eager to return.  I will always remember Carr as my most energetic friend, always bouncing off the nearest wall.  Carr was a friend to me early in high school during a difficult time, and he was someone whose energy and discipline I envied.  I am so sad to hear that he has passed.  Please know that the Lofberg’s are sending their love and prayers to the Kratovil family.  

So sorry

Shared by David Holland on 16th November 2018

Kristi, My heart breaks for you. I regret not ever having a chance to meet Carr. From the other testimonials, he sounds like an absolute gem. I hope and pray the best for you. Godspeed.

Shared by Jennifer Gibbs on 15th November 2018

We were lucky to go to college with Kristi and then fortunate to get to know Kristi and Carr as an amazing couple several years ago.  We were blessed to be able to call the Kratovils friends and family; cherishing all the memories we made together.  Carr was as willing to debate with Brian as he was pitch in on any project we had going on.  He was Uncle Carr to the girls and someone who we all genuinely loved.  Cheers to a wonderful man who brought love and life wherever he went.  Broken-hearted to say good-bye but grateful for the time we all shared together.  Here’s hoping his eternal golf game and the 19th hole treat him well.  Love to all who loved him - especially his beautiful wife, Kristi

Shared by Kate Batten on 14th November 2018

I met Carr (“KH”) in Officer Candidate School a little over 15 years ago. I didn’t know him well, but he had the kind of personality that draws people to him. He was fun, happy and always had a smile on his face. It was contagious. 

About a year later, I was out in Corpus Christi, TX on a Friday night. I looked across the room and saw KH standing at the other end of the bar.  He had flown into town for the weekend on a cross country for training. He was out with his instructor pilot (IP) and as soon as we waved high, he came over and said “Yes! Can I please hang out with you instead of my IP this weekend?” We high fived and proceeded to enjoy the evening. A bunch of us went back to my apartment complex and, of course, rushed the pool area. Exactly what normal people do at 0100. I eventually made it back to my room on the second floor and who knows how many hours later, I woke up to a shivering Carr banging on my window. “Did you just scale my balcony?” I asked in pure awe and amazement. Tired and bleary eyed, he nodded and wandered over to the couch. In the morning, we recapped and hazily remembered that he fell asleep on the pool chair and somehow, defying gravity, located and climbed my balcony! Impressive but totally Carr. He always made things fun. 

The next evening we went out in downtown Corpus. Albeit, not the nicest neighborhood. After a fun night, we returned to my car only to find my back window broken. The burglars stole NOTHING of mine but found their way into my trunk and stole ALL of KH’s  belongings. His flight suits. His boots. And like the good student he was...his ~10lb NATOPS manual. Let’s be honest, he was lugging that around but was never going to open it. Anyway, all of it was gone. We stared in shock, but he just shrugged and said “that’s a bummer”. After a night of stressing over his lost gear, I was sick with guilt and worry for him. How would he fly home the next day? He needed all his stuff. Why did they have to steal HIS gear? Why not my awesome collection of mix tapes? The next day, I was still wracked with guilt as I dropped him off at his IP’s place. The whole time, he was happy, joking, and not the least bit worried. He was making ME feel better when it should’ve been the other way around. I’ll never forget his amazing attitude. Even when he faced the wrath and endless heckling from his IP, he still had a smile on his face. I always looked up to him for that. He was the most fun-loving, goofy, and gregarious person I’ve met. His signature popped collars, hanging sunglasses and preppy attire always set him apart.  Just two weeks ago, we were laughing about this story as we recounted it for his beautiful wife, “the Doctor Lady” (how he lovingly referred to Kristi). She gave me a hug and we all shook our heads as if to say “this would only happen to Carr”. 

In all seriousness, I’m so grateful for that hug and for the amazing memories I have of KH. From the early OCS days to cross country shenanigans to our time as FRS Instructors, he was a shining beam of light in any room. I have never met a single person who has anything but awesome things to say about him. Carr was a phenomenal Naval Officer, NFO, mentor, and friend. His leadership and expertise made him a person I was proud to see on the Command list. I miss you, dear friend. You mean the world to me and so many people. Your legacy will live on. You will never be forgotten.

Boss, Mentor, and Friend

Shared by Michael Demos on 14th November 2018
CDR Carr “KH” Kratovil was an incredible boss, mentor, and friend. I first met KH in 2014 when I was a new check in at VAW-126 and he was a new Department Head. In my mind, there was nothing KH couldn’t do. He was superman. He had it all figured out. He was exactly who I wanted to be. Great in the airplane, great naval officer, and he never took anything too seriously. But what really set him apart as an officer and man was his ability to mentor his replacements. I am the naval officer I am today because of KH. Whether it was discussing briefing techniques, E-2 tactics, how to be a good division officer, and life/financial advice, KH was always there with his “knife hand” knowledge. He loved everything about Naval Aviation - from flying to leading officers and enlisted personnel as a Department Head. But most of all he loved JOPA. KH was JOPA at heart, always making challenges and always a part (or prime target) of ready room shenanigans. He even had a standing challenge to JOPA that the if an LT could find photo evidence of him rocking the elusive double popped collar, he would stand a day of duty.
My best times at the Seahawks were when I was the QAO and he was my immediate boss as the MO. I’ve never learned so much in such a short period of time. He had a great way of challenging you, but ensuring you had all the tools to succeed. He would always say,  “I don’t have a zero defect mentality. If you mess up, that’s ok - own up and learn from it.” Every leader at every level can learn from that. 
I kept in touch a great deal with KH after we parted ways at the Seahawks. He was always only a phone call or email away. In fact, there were multiple occasions when we chatted on the phone for multiple hours each call. This was during the time when he was working long days as a Flag Aide.But he would drop everything to calmly answer my career questions. I last saw KH two days before he passed. We ate pizza, drank, and talked about everything from our careers, to family life, to the good old days at the Seahawks. I was the class advisor for two students that had just headed out to VAW-125 - I must have told them over 10 times how lucky they were to have KH at the helm for their tour. I gave them all the advice I could remember that KH gave to me. Many officers and sailors are who they are today because of mentorship and leadership from KH. RIP, brother. I’ll miss you.

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