Edward Karkow, a resident of Waldoboro since 1993, died unexpectedly on May 23, 2019 while walking back from the mailbox; he was 89.
Karkow was born in 1930 and grew up in Chicago where he attended a public grade school and North Park Academy. He received a degree in economics from Kenyon College where he was captain of the track team and president of the senior class. In the midst of the Korean War he enlisted in the Navy.
At boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station he was named regimental commander of troops after winning a competition. He served as an ordinary seaman on a tanker operating between Norfolk and Guantanamo, Cuba. He was appointed to OCS in Newport, R.I. where he earned a line officer’s commission. He qualified for command of destroyers while serving with the Seventh Fleet during the Korean War.
After leaving the Navy, he sailed, raced and cruised on small boats in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Caribbean seas, the Great Lakes, the East Coast of the United States and the Canadian Maritimes. He operated a boatyard and sportsmen’s retreat in the British Virgin Islands where he met Kirsty, his wife for 60 years.
Back in the states he took on a series of sales and marketing positions with 3M, Firestone, TRW and Black & Decker while Ed and Kirsty raised two children, Karen, an accomplished equestrian, and Jon, who always loved airplanes. Through numerous family trips, including Atlantic crossings, he managed to continue his love of sailing. He ended his business career with 15 years as president of GSI Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic assemblies for military and industrial applications.
Retirement resulted in a move to Maine, finally having a boat of his own again, and numerous sailing adventures along the coast and up to Newfoundland.
He was a national vice president of the American Marketing Association, and a member of the Virgin Islands Yacht Club and the Adventurers Club of Chicago. In Waldoboro, he headed a committee that revised the town’s land use ordinances and served, at separate times, on a Jump Start program for wayward youth and on Waldoboro’s Appeals and Planning Boards.
He was predeceased by his son, Jon, a legendary test pilot and aeronautical engineer. He is survived by his wife, Kirsty; an older brother, Richard; and daughter, Karen.
Arrangements are entrusted to Hall Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Waldoboro.
Condolences may be shared with the family at hallfuneralhomes.com.