-I have met very few people – in any walk of life, much less the contentious world of political activism – as thoughtful and giving, as considerate and warm-hearted, as Ed Karpinski. I can’t recall ever hearing an angry (or even unkind) word pass his lips – about anyone. Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed. The Libertarian Party, the libertarian movement and, in fact, the world in general is a little poorer for your loss.
Edward W. Karpinksi, longtime Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) activist passed
away on September 8th at age 82. Most veteran Libertarians will remember him as the dedicated volunteer who was always willing to organize bulk mailings at a time when postal delivery was the primary means of communication between the LPM and its members. He and his wife Joanne were always volunteering and would often work together until her death in the fall of 2001.
He and Joanne frequently staffed the headquarters of Jon Coon’s 1994 US Senate campaign as well as the Hazel Park LPM office. Edward’s dedication helped inspire Political Director Greg Stempfle:
When I first got active in the LP, I was living in Wayne County where Ed and his wife Joanne were two of our most dedicated activists. They both helped shape me into becoming a party leader. Ed was always one of the first people to step up and take on many of the behind the scenes responsibilities needed to run an organization smoothly, from serving on the county board to assembling mailings at his house. Everything Ed did, he did with a giant smile and infectiously warm and kind personality. Rest in peace Ed.
Edward was also on the Board of Directors of the CCW reform organization Brass Roots. Bruce Hoepner of Brass Roots, posted “Sad to hear of this. He was a true gentleman and a stalwart for the Libertarian Party.” He rarely if ever missed a Wayne County Affiliate meeting until a little over a year ago. Former Wayne County Chair Raymond Warner commented, “He was a gentleman, and he didn’t need to be reminded when there was a meeting.”
Edward was a life member who didn’t use the internet. Sometimes he got printouts of the online Michigan Libertarian mailed to him. In recent years he would often learn of LPM events by phone or word of mouth. Ironically, the Michigan Libertarian learned of his passing from an online death notice. Nancy O’Brien had spotted this notice for “Albert” Karpinski, and brought it to the attention of editor, Scotty Boman. According to his son, the difference in first name was purely a misprint.
Boman who attended the memorial on September 12th said, “I had met some of his family at Joanne’s funeral in 2001, but had forgotten that he had four daughters and three sons. He was also a grandfather. While most Libertarians will only know of Joanne, he was previously married to Beverly. In recent years he was with his significant other, Yvette Reghi.” Boman had also known Edward from outside the party, “He and Joanne were active members of Unity Church of Today where my late mother was also a member.”
Most people will remember Edward for his kind manners as described in the opening quote from Tim O’Brien. Tim’s wife Nancy noted, “Ed was a sweet guy, a kind and unassuming man — I can only remember good things about him.” This sentiment was echoed by others on social media. Barb Vozenilek, who was county coordinator for the 1994 ballot access effort, posted, “I so remember Ed, so sweet, helpful and absolutely authentic. He will be missed.”