Marietta C. Karpe

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Marietta C. Karpe, Z"L, 97, of Coventry, died Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, in the comfort of her home surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife for 49 years of the late Richard Karpe, M.D., who passed away in 1981.

Born in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, she was the daughter of Dr. Friedrich Eidlitz and Ida (Schlosser) Eidlitz. She studied law at Charles University in Prague and was active there in the "Blue-White" Zionist youth movement. Marietta was also in communication with Anna Freud and worked with Sigmund Freud to translate his writings from German into Czech. She and her husband immigrated to the Boston, Mass. area in 1939 shortly before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Her parents and her entire extended family perished in the Holocaust. Marietta received an MSW degree from Smith College for Women in 1942, and then she and her husband settled in the Hartford area. She worked as a psychiatric social worker over many years with focus on healthy development of children. She was a member of Hadassah of Manchester, a past member of Temple Beth Israel in West Hartford and after moving to Coventry in 1980 was a member of Temple Beth Sholom in Manchester. At the age of 16 she authored an autobiographical novel in German called "The Soul of Andre Garaine" and she later wrote an article on "The Origins of Peter Pan that was published in The Psychiatric Review in 1956. She had a passion for opera and theater that came from her father's appreciation of the performing arts. Additional passions included tennis, swimming, travel and politics - she never missed a vote.

The life that Marietta and Richard created together leaves cherished family: three daughters, Dvora (Doris) Caspi and her husband Abba of Manchester, Barbara Johnson and her husband Clifford of Coventry, Jane Dixon and her husband John of Woodbridge; seven grandchildren, Sara Caspi and her husband Michael Yanuck, M.D., Steven Dixon and his wife Phalla, Yael Caspi Sagi and her husband Tomer, Na'ama Caspi Welland and her husband Peter, Bonnie Dixon, Michal Caspi Tal and her husband Tomer, and Hilary Johnson. She also leaves four great-grandchildren, Marina, Maya, Dahlia and Conan (and two on the way). She was predeceased by her beloved grandson, Robert M. Johnson in 1997. Just five days after her 97th birthday this past Aug. 18, she attended a double wedding for her granddaughters Sara and Yael.

Funeral service will be Tuesday, Sept. 8, at noon at Beth Sholom B'nai Israel, 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester, with Rabbi Richard Plavin officiating. Interment will be at the New Coventry Cemetery, on Route 31 in South Coventry, past Depot Road on the left. Following interment friends are invited to gather at Marietta's home on Forge Road until 8 p.m. An evening shiva service will be held there at 7:30.

The family wishes to express their appreciation to Marietta's caregivers: Joan, Donna, Trudy, Dee Dee, Brittany and Nicole, with a special heartfelt thank-you to Lisa.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Robert Johnson Memorial Fund, c/o Coventry Scholarship Foundation, 78 Ripley Hill Road, in Coventry. May Marietta's memory be a source of strength and a blessing to her family. Funeral arrangements provided by Hebrew Funeral Association Inc., 906 Farmington Ave., West Hartford.

Published in Journal Inquirer from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11, 2009