BRANDON – Peter Karpak, Jr. passed away on September 29, 2021, a week before his 72nd birthday at Wintergreen North Residential Care Home in Brandon, Vermont, where he resided for the past two years. Peter was born at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey on October 8, 1949, shortly after his mother finished nursing there. He was the only child of Marie (Keran) Karpak and Peter Karpak.
From a young age Peter had an engineering mindset and loved amateur radio, receiving his amateur radio license at the age of 12 (one of the youngest to do so). Peter also had a creative side, expressed through his passion for music, and was a talented pianist. He even considered a career in music, but decided to take a more technical path after graduating from Kearny High School in Kearny, NJ and going to NYU School of Engineering to become an electrical engineer. He was a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. After graduation, Peter’s first job was with American Teletimer in New York. He often told the story of being at the finish line at the Belmont Stakes when Secretariat won the Triple Crown, being part of the crew to time the race.
Peter met his beloved 43-year-old wife Deb on a blind date. She discovered that if this were to last, she had to indulge in Peter’s new sport, downhill skiing. They married in 1978 in the church where Peter grew up – First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, Kearny, NJ. He was very involved in the church, at one point becoming an elder. As an adult he became a volunteer camp counselor at the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center in Johnsonburg and for many years devoted time to the camp and the synod-wide youth group.
One of the greatest joys of his life was becoming a father to his two sons, Devon and Travis. Being a parent definitely took him out of his comfort zone in many ways. He took so many things because of his sons’ interests: hockey, horses and scouting, that he had never done. In 1995, the family chose to relocate from Montclair, NJ, to the beautiful community of Ripton, Vermont, and never looked back, deliberately choosing a special place to raise a family. Peter and Deb joined the Middlebury Congregational Church and became very active in the church community, helping in the church school and youth group, joining the choir and even leading a children’s choir for a short time. Peter became a deacon and was a member of the committee to find a new pastor. He has held jobs at various companies in Vermont including Hallam Associates, Agri-Mark, and Northern Power.
Peter fell ill in 2013 with dementia, the final diagnosis. He was placed at Wintergreen North in July 2019. The care he received was impeccable during his transition.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Deb, and son Devon of Ripton; son and daughter-in-law, Travis and Victoria of Boston, Mass .; his stepmother Mina Potaczek; her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Marti and Jack Curran; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Marcy Kegges; niece Lindsay (Ryan), nephews Patrick, Jonathan (Erika), Ryan (Kiersten) and Matthew (Kiera) and great-nieces Emmilyn, Savannah and Saoirse; dear cousins Vicki and Helen of Saint-Louis; and most notably her dear caregivers in Wintergreen: Jessi, Beth, Brittany, Lisa, Keisha, Darlene, Leslie, Donna, Amanda, Patty, Mary Jensen and Tania.
He was predeceased by his father and mother.
There will be a Celebration of Life at Middlebury Congregational Church, UCC, on Saturday, October 16 at 11 a.m., followed by light refreshments. Internment immediately after reception.
Instead of flowers, think of the Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center, formerly the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center (Johnsonburg, NJ 07825/[email protected]); Project Independence (Middlebury, Vermont 05753/[email protected]); The Congregational Church of Middlebury, UCC: Music Program or Youth Groups, (30 N. Pleasant St., Middlebury, Vermont 05753/[email protected]).
Arrangements via Sanderson Funeral Service, Middlebury, Vermont. Online condolences at www.sandersonfuneralservice.com HYPERLINK “”.
Arrangements made by the Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home.