Ron's uncle
Garden Grove, California  (Christmas 1968)
Joseph Stephen Karpinski  (1927-1998)
Joe was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois; hence, within the family he was known as "Chicago Joe," as distinguished 
from the other Uncle Joe who hailed from Eureka, California, and received, quite logically, the moniker of "Eureka Joe."
Chicago Joe entered World War II in 1944, as a seventeen-year-old, and served as an infantryman on the Italian front.
At war's end, he wore the stripes of a corporal and was offered a promotion to the rank of sergeant, if he would reenlist
in the army: but he declined.  Joe had a jovial demeanor with seemingly little ambition, satisfied with a modest lifestyle,
and he never married; but once, in a rare moment of candor, he mentioned that there had been a woman in Italy -- no
details, just the inference of a wartime romance that fate and circumstance had crushed in the bud.  As his main line of
employment, Joe installed aluminum patio roofs and screened-in porches.  In early 1961, he drove out to California and 
applied his trade there -- where a warm climate encouraged a lucrative market.  Joe remained in southern California for
nearly twenty years, renting an inexpensive bungalow in the city of Buena Park, six miles from the residence of his older
brother, Edward, and family.  In approximately 1967, Joe fathered a child with a longtime companion named "Jean."  The
child, a daughter named "Paula Jean Karpinski," had no contact with Joe's family, and her current whereabouts remain
unknown.  Eventually, Joe returned to his hometown of Chicago where he died from lung cancer in 1998 at age seventy.

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