Eugene D. Karpinski
Eugene D. Karpinski (Gene) passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on April 27, 2021. He was 96 years old. Born April 8, 1925 to Adam and Agnes Karpinski of Bridgeport, he was the second of three sons.
Gene met his wife Madlyn at Central High School. They married on December 27, 1949 and celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in December. His children and grandchildren surprised them with an outdoor celebration on their patio – a change from the 'Christmas in New York' tradition Eugene had organized every year for the past 20 years, treating the entire family to Broadway shows, dinner at Carmine's, skating at Rockefeller Center, and taking in the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.
Gene served three years in the US Navy during World War ll, aboard the battleship USS Texas. He saw action at D-Day, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. He was aboard the Texas when they set a record for the most days (over 50) at battle ready stations in the South Pacific. Gene was honorably discharged in 1946.
Like many of his generation, Gene attended college on the GI Bill. He graduated from Southern Connecticut Teachers' College and later got a master's degree from Fairfield University. Gene built a career first as a math teacher and then as an administrator in the Fairfield Public School system. He was a mentor and colleague to many, making his mark at Grasmere School, then as assistant principal at Stratfield and Tomlinson. For several decades, he was also active with the Boys' Club of Bridgeport.
Later he became principal at Riverfield and then Tomlinson, where he supervised building additions that were dedicated in 1980. During this period, he was also an adjunct professor at Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education. He retired in June 1980 after 27 years of service in Fairfield. For six years after his retirement, he was coordinator of a bilingual education program at Bullard Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport.
Grandchildren arrived one after the next in the 1980s and 1990s. Whether it was a school play, a birthday, a big win or a tough loss, "Papa" and "Grammy" were always there and generous with their love and support. He was most proud to have attended all five of his grandchildren's high school and college graduations, as well as two graduate school graduations. A lifelong educator, he imparted the value and discipline of academic curiosity to his children and grandchildren.
Gene was an athlete and avid sports fan. He approached sports with equal measures of competition and fairmindedness. Skilled in basketball, golf and baseball through college, he went on to coach and play in semi-pro leagues.
Gene was a conscientious and modest man, and a dedicated Roman Catholic. He was a giver. In time of need, Gene never asked, "What can I do?" He just did it. He was a kidder with a twinkle in his eye, available for advice or a good laugh. Gene and Madlyn were a good team, rooting for the New York Knicks, playing daily Scrabble games, enjoying local and distant beaches, visiting family and traveling to their beloved Carmel, CA and New York City many times. They called Southport their home for the last 65 years, enjoying gardening, friends and family.
He was predeceased by his parents and his oldest brother, Edward Karpinski. He is survived by his wife Madlyn (Capasso) Karpinski, his son Gene Karpinski and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Collaton of Arlington, VA, his daughter Alane Karpinski Sullivan and son-in-law Jim Sullivan of Rye, NH and his five loving grandchildren and biggest fans: Conor Sullivan of Virginia Beach, VA, Casey Sullivan of New York, NY, Andrew Karpinski of New York, NY, Curran Sullivan of Los Angeles, CA and Lauren Karpinski of Washington, D.C. He also leaves behind his brother, Al Karpinski and many other relatives.
A Mass will be celebrated Friday, May 7, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fairfield (it will also be livestreamed at stanthonyffld.org
). Interment with Military Honors will follow in St. Michael Cemetery.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, 268 Post Rd. 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824 or Cardinal Shehan Center, 1494 Main St., Bridgeport, CT 06604. For information, please visit www.shaughnesseybanksfuneralhome.com
Published by Connecticut Post on May 1, 2021.