The following is dedicated to my father, Judge Richard Karpe who was born on June 5, 1929 and passed away on Tuesday January 22,2013. This is the eulogy that was delivered at my father's funeral s service. I feel it befitting to a man, who's many traits I inherited, and of whom is more alive in spirit today, than he had been in sickness:
First of all, I would like to give a "shout out" to Rudy and Mark, stand up please. Rudy, Mark, Julio and Harold were the gentlemen whom had cared for my father, you made it possible for him to live out his final years with dignity. You did your work out of your heart, you spent countless hours away from your families to take care of my father, I consider you to be a part of my family.
It was a cold winter day when I found out that my father had passed away, yet I felt warm inside, because I knew that he was finished with his suffering. As I walked down the street that night I looked up at the sky and I smiled at him, he smiled back down at me, he was grinning from ear to ear and for the first time in over six years, we had a real conversation.
My father was like a God to me, he had the physique of Hercules yet he was visually impaired. However he made up for it in other ways, he was the blind Six Million Dollar Man. One time my father was in a gas station, there was a bee buzzing around, everything was scared, but my father caught that bee between his thumb and his forefinger and slew it the way Davey slung Goliath. On another occasion our dog Dutchess was drowning in Oyster Bay Harbor, my father jumped off the ledge into the water and towed the dog to safety. One time my father fell into a manhole down the street from us, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and kept on walking. In 1989 my father had catarac surgery and suddenly could see out of one of his eyes, people would tell me "Steven" I saw your father, he was driving. For the first time my father could see me on the street and would comment if I had passed him by and did not say hello to him.
My parents moved to Syosset in 1968 not knowing anyone, over the years they formed roots within the community which became thick as oak tree within their backyard. The turnout here today is a testament to those roots.
My father had a Heart of Gold, he would do anything for his family, but it did not stop at that, he had an altruistic philosophy, he was a volunteer for Syracuse University Admissions as an Alumni Representative, and would invite High School students from the community over to help them with the college applications process. In the 1970's, when teenagers were hitchiking all over the place he would pick them up, safely drive them to their destination, and then lecture them on the dangers of hitchiking. Some of the things he would say were "Have Rachmunis Steven" "Don't be a Chaza Steven" "Double Chai"
My father never drank, except when he lost a loved one, in 1970 his father died and he took a shot of whiskey. In 1990 his mother died, he said "Steven, get me a shot, I got the shakes" Little did he know that I had depleted his whole liquor supply, what the hell was I going to do? now I had the shakes. Luckily I located a bottle of wine and he was happy. Together, I would like everyone to raise their imaginary glass, and give a toast to my father......"LeChaim" (I then stomped my foot and broke an imaginary glass. Amen.