Dr. Karpinski’s legacy is to his family, his community, his country, and to anyone that may be willing to use own inner resources in life.
“I am one of five brothers born at my father’s dry goods store at 47 Perrine Street in Auburn, NY. My father educated all of us to be doctors and lawyers. With the exception of the fifth brother who died in his teens, we were all trained by example to work hard at my dad’s store while studying at the same,” says Dr. Karpinski. “Two of my dad’s favorite sayings have been: don’t forget where you came from and if you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life. I have adhered thesetwo sayings all of my life.”
Dr. Karpinski earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1940, the Silver Beaver Award in 1963, and the distinguished Eagle Award in 1982. He is the only person in Cayuga County to receive this honor. He was a member of the Council Heritage Society, a James E. West Fellow, President of the Owasso Campers Association, and President of the Cayuga County Boy Scout Council for many years. In 1988, the National Eagle Scout Associate recognized him as a Regent for Life. He has been a scout for more than 78 years.
Dr. Karpinski recalls when his pre-professional studies at Boston College were interrupted by his country’s call to serve during World War II. He entered the Army’s infantry and did his training at Camp Hood in Waco, TX. Upon completion of advanced infantry training, he entered the Army’s Specialized Training Program which sent him to Cornell University to complete his pre-professional studies. He began his dentistry studies at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, later to the University of Minnesota and the Western Reserve Dental School. He later received his doctor of dental surgery from the Indiana University School of dentistry in Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Karpinski served in the motorized-dental unit covering the Coast Guard Bases. During the Korean War, he was transferred to Alaska as the only US Public Officer in that territory where he treated US Coast Guard personnel, Eskimos, Indians, and other Alaskans.
It was at Jersey City Medical Center that he met his future wife Flory Anna (Honey) Lescynska, a nursing student from Plains, PA. Dr. Karpinski later on returned to his loved hometown and established a family practice while raising six children, all of whom entered professional careers. After 35 years of marriage, he lost his wife. He built a chapel under the direction of the Carmelite Fathers of Poland in memory of his beloved wife.
Dr. Karpinski continued serving the community with a joy and strength that you rarely see anywhere. When I ask him about this, he replies, “I have read the Big Book and I obey gladly like a soldier to a higher calling, which is serving my fellow man. That is where my strength comes from.” Then, he looks up and smiles peacefully.
Dr. Karpinski has a lot of experiences and achievements to keep anyone amused for hours. Like his conversations with the Pope, his interactions
with presidents, and, not to mention, the continual achievements in his career. Dr. Karpinski has been a true collector. During his world travels he has collected postage stamps, coins, match covers, player piano rolls, Chinese Cloisonne’s, including a terracotta warrior soldier, old books, porcelain figures, Russian icons, polish medals (awards), German beer steins, amber jewelry, oriental Jade, Barney paintings, and old print.
“But this day,” he looks at me seriously and repeats, “This day I have come to present, establish and pass on the baton to my son, Dr. John Karpinski, who has been serving the community of Palm City and is now serving the community of Fort Pierce. I believe my Dr. John Karpinski, being an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon, is well equipped and ready to whatever is in the book written for him to do. I know he will excel in his duties.