John Karakash
John J. Karakash
John J. Karakash, educator, humanitarian and athlete died Wednesday, March 22. A distinguished professor and Dean Emeritus of engineering at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, he was also internationally recognized for focusing attention on citizenship, foreign affairs and ethics in public policy. Many recent editorial page contributions on these issues were published in the Allentown based Morning Call. Born in Turkey June 14, 1914 of Greek parents, he entered the U.S. with an athletic scholarship after winning the 1935 Balkan nations Olympic Games javelin event. He earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Duke in 1937, and entered the University of Pennsylvania as a Moore Fellow, completing a Master of Science degree in 1938. He taught briefly at Park College outside Kansas City and served as education director at American Television Laboratories in Chicago. He helped improve and train military staff in the use of defense equipment including radar, later joining the team developing ENIAC, recognized as the first electronic computer. He also collaborated with Hanemann Medical College scientists in the study of mechanical hearts. Professor Karakash joined the Lehigh faculty in 1946, was named head of the electrical engineering department in 1956 and 10 years later became Dean of the College of Engineering, a position he held until retirement in 1981. He received many university awards included an honorary doctorate in 1971 and the name of a rebuilt wing of Packard Laboratory in his honor in 1981. A quotation on the dedication plaque expresses his way of life, ...our goal is to produce good people - young men and women who learn to think to the point where thinking is a habit, who have been exposed to and encouraged to develop and live by a set of values, who have developed methods and approaches to the intelligent application of knowledge and, last but not least, who accept the virtue of work as a vehicle of service and the will to work as a self-discipline. He was active in professional and honorary societies, served on advisory boards, was a member of the Professional Accrediting Society for Engineering Colleges and consulted for major corporations. His listing in Whos Who in America ends with this quote: In free societies, whenever rules and regulations, because of changing times, are in conflict with principles, it is the principles that need be conserved, and the conflicting rules and regulations summarily discarded. He resided at Kirkland Village, Bethlehem, PA in recent years. He was predeceased by the late Marjorie Rutherford Karakash, his wife of 50years; a brother, Theodore and sister, Nina Karakash Papadopoulos. Survivors: Son, John of Lewisburg, PA; sister-in-law, Roxanne; grandchildren, nieces, nephews and two great-granddaughters. Services: A memorial service will be held Monday, April 10 at 4:10 P.M. in Packer Chapel on the Lehigh University Campus. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the donors choice of The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22313; the Northampton County ASPCA, 1165 Island Park Road, Easton, PA 18042; or the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, 1600 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Published by Morning Call on Mar. 28, 2006.
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John-Uncle John left us so suddenly, as he always said, the clock always ticks foward-never backwards. His continual dedication to teaching, and the belief of work & service to the community were his truest legacy. I shall always cherish my memories of him, and his indelible spirit. Truly the most amazing person to have known. In Peace. jb
John Burich
April 3, 2006
John was the quintesential academician. Lehigh is so lucky to have been blessed with his service. I always found him to be a kind and thoughtful man. His legacy is his eternal gift to us all.
Doug Frey
April 3, 2006
Dear John,
I'm sorry to hear about Dean Karakash's death. He influenced the careers of so many people including me. He spent countless hours in his office at Lehigh with students like me to help us figure out what to do with our careers. He was devoted to Lehigh. Late in the evening Packard Lab would be dark except for the light coming from his office. Lehigh and all of us lost a good friend.
John Katsaros
April 3, 2006
Dear John,
We are so sorry to hear about your Dad. We enjoyed talking to him at Kirkland and to learn about his life experiences and to read some of the articles he showed us that were published in the paper. Please take care, Woody and Karen, your Dad's roommate, Frank Brown's family
woody mitman
March 29, 2006
Our sympathy goes out to the Karakash family. May John rest in peace. He was one of a kind. We have known John for many, many years. He encouraged us to come to Lehigh where Art served as Provost for six years under the guidance and help of John. He always had a special saying for the moment. The one I remember most was "Commotion is not Locomotion". When at UPENN, John was known as "the Turkish Olympian with the Javelin". What a wonderful,unusual man. God bless. Provost Emeritus and Mrs. Provost, Lehigh University
Arthur/Sheila Humphrey
March 29, 2006
Our sorrow goes out to the Karakash family at this time of loss. But our joy also goes out to them because they had such a great man so close to them. His accomplishments in life were many. And his humanitarianism made him that much greater. He could come up to you and start a conversation and make you feel comfortable in spite of his learnedness. There were only two people that I met in life that were like that. John Karakash was one of them. God bless him and his survivors.
Paul Podgurski
March 28, 2006
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