William J. Karpinski, Jr. age 85 of Lawrence, MI, died surrounded by his family at Rose Arbor Hospice on October 30, 2021. He was born in Buchanan, Michigan on June 9, 1936, to William J. Karpinski, Sr. and Helen Karpinski, who both preceded him in death. He attended Currier Country School to the 8th grade and graduated from Buchanan High School in 1955 as an honor student and accomplished athlete. Bill attended Western Michigan University on a football scholarship and excelled there in both football and academics. On August 25, 1956, he married his high school sweetheart Marlene A. Thomas. They recently celebrated 65 years of marriage with their loving family. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1959 after a decorated career in football and wrestling as a Bronco. Bill was the football coach in Buchanan, holding a 27-game winning streak and a state championship in 1965. He was also the head coach at high schools in Battle Creek, Mishawaka, Michigan City, Hastings and at Hillsdale College. His goal was to always build a solid and successful program. He felt that football and wrestling were great preparations for life. Bill achieved his goals and dreams and along the way had championship teams wherever he coached. Bill was the Athletic Director at Hastings High School from 1975-1992. He was named “Coach of the Year” 11 times and was inducted into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992. Bill retired from his teaching and coaching career in June of 2001. Marlene and Bill enjoyed living at their lake home and just being together. Their time was devoted to their children and family. He still enjoyed attending the occasional football game and visits from past students and players. His most recent joy came at the birth of his great-grandson Donovan Thomas Karpinski. His family also includes his loving wife and sweetheart Marlene; his daughters: Debora (Brian) Trutsch and Jacqueline (Biagio) Vignolo; his sons, William J. (Tamara) Karpinski, III, and Michael (Diana) Karpinski; his grandchildren: Adam, John, Megan, Eric (Peggy), Astoria, Joseph, Donavan, and Kyle; his sister Chris Karpinski; his brothers, Rick and John Karpinski; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Walter “Dodge” Karpinski. Family will receive friends and family from 5:00-8:00 PM Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Adams Funeral Home, 502 West Michigan Ave., Paw Paw. Mass of Christian burial will follow on Friday, November 5, at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Mary Catholic Church, Paw Paw, with Rev. Fr. Alan P. Jorgensen and Rev. Fr. Robert F. Creagan officiating. Burial will take place at Prospect Cemetery, Lawrence. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary School or Church, Hastings High School Athletic Department or Buchanan High School Athletic Department.
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