In Memory

Karlis Starpins - Class Of 1965

Karlis 'Karl' Starpins passed away on August 22, 2017 after a tough battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. Karl had been retired after a long and distinguished career of service as a police officer with Lincolnwood Police Department. He was 70 years old when he lost his battle with cancer. Karl participated on the baseball and golf teams.  

A visitation for Karl is being held from 11 AM until 7 PM on Sunday, September 3, 2017 at the Smith-Corcoran Chicago Chapel located at 6150 N. Cicero Avenue in Chicago.   

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08/30/17 08:01 AM #1    

John Ahlen (1965)

I'm saddened to see this news. Karl was a good friend at Nash and Austin.

He was one of the first to have his own car and l have fond memories of cruising the neighborhood with him behind the wheel a car full of friends. I'll remember him and the special times we shared.   

08/30/17 09:08 AM #2    

Dan Piovosi (1965)

As most know, I met Karl at Austin and we quickly became great friends.  He was my "best man" for my wedding in 1973.  After college, we both chose law enforcement careers lasting over 35 years. For 55 years, we experienced many good times, some sad times, and thousands of fond memories.   Karl passed away peacefully at the hospice facility at Presence Resurrecton Hospital.  On the day he passed, I was able to talk to him....       Rest In Peace my Dear Friend.....

09/07/17 12:22 PM #3    

Don Bouloukos (1966)


I was very sad to hear that Karl passed away but pleased to hear that his good friend ( and my good friend) Dan  Piovosi was with him when he passed. 

Karl was my next door neighbor during our grade school years at Nash and at Austin. As John Allen wrote "he had the first car in the neighborhood"  and he always took all he could fit with him as we cruised the neighborhood.  Karl and I were in the same foursome every Saturday at Big Run for almost 10 years and how we looked forward to our Saturday's at Big Run. I moved out of Chicago and Illinois in 1982 and hadn't seen Karl since my wedding in 1986.

But even though we didn't stay in touch, if I needed help, I know he would have been there for me as I would have been for him.  

God Bless my friend.


10/01/17 04:20 PM #4    

Valdis Mezainis (1965)



I first met Karl in 1958 when he was introduced as a new student in the fifth grade at Henry Nash Elementary School. The photo posted by John Ahlen shows all of us way back then!  When I heard his name I new right away that he must be a Latvian immigrant like me.  Karl, his parents,  and sister, Anita, moved to Chicago from Wichita, Kansas to be part of the Latvian community in our neighborhood.  His family was connected to the Latvian Lutheran Church in our neighborhood through the pastor, who was Karl's Godfather.

Karl and I instantly became close friends.  I introduced him to "the neighborhood" which consisted of a tightly knit group that included Tony Cioffi, Ron Jonsson, Bob McNamara and about 10 to 15 other kids including Karl's neighbor Don Bouloukos, that regularly played pick-up games of basketball, baseball, football, and hockey at the Hubbard play lot. He easily fit in and we were inseparable from that day forward.

It was later during our days at Austin that we met Dan Piovosi, Ray Scilingo, Henry Rydygier and Bob Treasurer. They, along with "the neighborhood " formed the nucleus of our group.  We stayed together after high school, which was when Karl started his law enforcement career.  In 1969, I'll never forget, Karl drove me to O'hare as I left for a two year assignment with the Peace Corps in India.

I briefly came back to the neighborhood in 1971 before going away again, this time to Cameroun for another Peace Corps assignment.  Work brought me to the East Coast and I lost touch with Karl for many years after that.  But in 2015 we reconnected, along with Dan Piovosi and Tony Cioffi.  What was remarkable was that Karl collected me in downtown Chicago in 2015 and it was as though no time had passed.  We just picked up right where we had left off.  I've been reflecting on how it could even be possible, but ultimately have decided that the strength of the bond that we developed in the fifth grade was powerful and profound as if we were brothers. In 2016 Karl visited me in DC and in June of this year we jointly celebrated our 70th birthdays in Chicago. Karl's illiness came on more quickly than any of us could have imagined possible. He was comforted to be surrounded  and supported by people he loved.  Rest In Peace my friend


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