In Memoriam


In Memory of

Jacob B. (Jack) Karbiner

August 23, 1935 - May 11, 2017


Jack was a New Yorker, a Brooklynite. He was assertive, argumentative, sure that he was always right. I suspect that some of that may have been put on to cover up his sensitivity. And he did have a sensitive side. He loved the ballet and other forms of dance; we attended performances often, especially during the 10 years we lived in New York City after our kids were grown. He would get choked up or even cry when he saw a handicapped child or an injured animal. He was also artistic. Those traits were not necessarily respected by his peers when he was young. When he had to walk through his Brooklyn neighborhood with a violin to get to his music teacher's house, he had to fight every boy on those three blocks--and win--before they would leave him alone. And he did. When he got to high school he was invited to be on the boxing team.

His school teachers suggested that he should go to Pratt Institute to develop his artistic talents, but his parents thought it was too expensive. So, except for the drafting classes he took in high school and a few drawing classes he took as an adult, he was a self-taught artist. He was accepted to and attended Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City's most prestigious and competitive schools. No question he was very smart; it wasn't just Brooklyn swagger.

Jack had a lifelong love of airplanes. According to his mother he used to point to planes flying overhead when he was in his stroller. Although he made his living as a mechanical engineer, he was a self-taught aeronautical engineer; designing airplanes was his hobby.

Working with architects in his capacity as a mechanical engineer, he learned enough about architecture to design our beautiful house on the coast of Maine. We had vacationed in Maine since 1971, the year we met, staying first at his in-laws' (Ed and Blossom Holland), then at the old Savage house, which we bought in 1985, and finally in the house he designed and had built, where we retired and lived from 2003 till 2005, when he decided that wasn't the life for him and we moved back to Manhattan, going to Maine once again only during the summer months. We also lived part of the year in Montreal for a few years before the trip became too difficult for him. In 2014 we moved into an apartment in our son Scott's house on Long Island, New York, where Jack enjoyed walking our dog, going to the local ice cream parlor, and spending time with Scott and Maria and their twin baby girls.

Jack died at home from the effects of vascular dementia. He is survived by his first wife, Carol, and two of their children, Jack Karbiner and Patricia Woods; by his wife Susan and their two children, Scott and Lara Karbiner, Scott's wife Maria and Lara's fiancé Nick Carter; by his Aunt Lillian Ryan, and by five grandchildren and numerous cousins. He was pre-deceased by his and Carol's son Stephen, his son Jack's wife Patricia and by a grandson Ben, his daughter Patricia's son. If you would like to make a donation in his name, please make it to the Alzheimer's Association.


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