Obituary: Robert Paul (Bob) Karz
October 12, 2021 – February 7, 1931
Robert Paul (Bob) Karz, of Laurel Oak Community, Sarasota, Florida passed suddenly October 12, 2021.
Bob was born February 7,1931 in Bayonne, New Jersey to Dorothy Emma Devery and Adam Stanislaw Karz, born Stefan Karcz, a child of Polish immigrants. Robert came from these humble beginnings living with this extended family in the back of a candy store in post-depression times.
He attended Horace Mann Elementary School and graduated from Bayonne High School. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy and served two tours, first on the USS Stoddard DD-556 and next on the USS Turner DDR-834, as a Radarman (RD2) during the Korean War. Scoring in the top fifth percentile in service intelligence testing he was nominated to the OCS by his Executive Officer but respectfully declined. After being discharged he started his education at Columbia University School of Painting and Sculpture, graduating with a BFA. He was the first of his family to attend college which was funded initially under the GI Bill, but Bob was awarded a scholarship from the Photoengravers Union beginning his sophomore year forward.
While attending college Bob worked 30 hours a week as a Floor Boy for the Art Color Printing Company, Dunellen, NJ leaving little free time. He still managed to meet, fall in in love and marry Danuta (Donna) Teresa Dolegowski. They were wed at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, September 10, 1956 in Plainfield, NJ during his junior year. Together they had one son Robert Michael and lost 3 children due to complications from the RH factor.
After graduating from Columbia, he was promoted to a Journeyman Photoengraver at the Art Color. His next opportunity took them south to reside in Moorestown, NJ and a new position at Roto-Cylinders as Production Manager. After working successfully for a few years, he was terminated after designing a successful reorganization. This fundamentally changed his outlook toward work, and he knew his success would come from forming his own business whereby he founded Alpha/Omega, Inc. and operated, and ultimately purchased, Pine Street Liquors, All Points Travel Service and Pine Street Shopping Center for the duration of his career, until he retired at age 55. Sadly, Bob lost Donna to ovarian cancer during this period and then remained alone for seven years while Rob finished school and started his life experiences.
Robert pursued his passions always with meticulous attention and fervor. He applied tremendous attention to detail to whatever he did. He always wanted whatever he did to be done right and without shortcuts. He approached his projects, maintaining homes, remodeling homes, hobbies and endeavors, with precision and thought. He had some time to buy and sell a motorcycle, before his son could get to ride it, get his private pilot’s license and travel the world through his affiliation with the travel industry.
His lifelong passion was skiing. Bob loved the sport. He became a member of the National Ski Patrol utilizing the medical skills learned as a member of the Dunellen Rescue Squad. In the 60’s and 70’s he was volunteer weekend patrolman at Camelback Mountain, PA. His love of skiing was passed down to his son, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His passion for skiing is fundamentally why many of the family live in Park City today. He was able to ride the chair and ski at Deer Valley, where he was also a Mountain Host, with 4 generations at 85 years old.
It was during a ski trip to Steamboat Springs where he met and fell in love with Patricia Conroy. They were married May 5,1984. They both retired very early by 1985 and were able to continue life’s adventure by traveling extensively. Bob and Pat sailed their Ketch “Escapade” throughout the Chesapeake Bay and East Coast, traveled the Alaska Canada Hwy. in their travel trailer, went rock hounding, and moved to Hawaii for a few years where Bob volunteered as a guide through the volcanic Haleakala Crater. Bob volunteered for too many non-profits to mention. Moving back to the states to live in Park City, UT in 1987, they fulfilled a snow skier dream of unlimited skiing. Patricia and Bob used the summer days to travel in their Air Stream through almost all the states, western Canada and even made it to Cabo San Lucas.
Bob pursued his interest in geology with lapidary skills and rock hounding in Utah. He became a proficient stain glass and etched glass artist restoring a historic piece in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Park City UT and providing etched glass chapel doors. He sold pieces of his glass art. During his time there he was an active parishioner assisting in the campaign to build a new church on White Pine Canyon Road. He traveled the world scuba diving and did many live aboard adventures.
Those trips in their Air Stream led them to their last address in Sarasota, Florida with gardening, golf and extensive traveling again. In recent years, he took pride in his poodle and constant companion, Misty Mae, who received the best agility training and successfully competed with her in several dog Obedience Trials.
Robert is survived by his wife of 37 years Patricia Catherine Karz, his son Robert Michael Karz, and daughter-in-law Linda Prizer Karz, grandchildren in Park City UT. Clayton Paul Karz (Emily), Devery Ann Harper (Jameson), Jessica Campbell Karz and Josephine Deyo Kellum (Kory) Hood River, OR. Great grandchildren Pike, Janis, Beckett and Dash, sister Carole Costa, sisters in laws Judith M. Balluff and Roberta James Campbell and brother-in-law Mark James Conroy (Marsha Mathew).
Robert respected the Navy, had a deep appreciation for what he learned , and often thought about his decision to leave. He will therefore be be laid to rest according to his wishes in the National Cemetery, Sarasota with full military honors. The interment ceremony will be announced at a later date.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Longboat Key FL, Friday October 22 @ 10:30 AM.
I lieu of flowers please donate to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Park City UT or St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall / Weigand Homeless Resource Center, Salt Lake City UT
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