Alexander F. Karolyi, 87, of Greenfield Twp., devoted husband of Margaret, blunt talker and community servant, died Friday, October 1.
He departed our earthly plane after a slip and fall doing yard work at home and died as he lived: He always did and said what he thought he should, age and opinion be damned.
Alex was born Aug. 31, 1934 and spent his childhood in Kearney, N.J., son of immigrant Hungarian parents, and his entire life he proudly proclaimed himself a “stubborn Hunky.” He and his parents moved to Mount Pocono in the 1950s when his mother and father opened the Fairview Lake Villa resort. It was there that he met Margaret Sziracky, a meeting arranged by her Hungarian immigrant parents and his, under the premise of being her math tutor. A few weeks shy of 62 years of marriage followed, of which Alex described, in a toast to his bride at their 60th anniversary, as this: “She propped me up through the whole ceremony,” he said of their wedding, “and then she propped me up every day for the next 60 years.”
Alex enjoyed a logical mind which he put to use as a mechanical engineer for Babcock & Wilcox in Scranton, PA and Akron, OH. He used his strict perspective in other ways, such as precise, perfect lines when he mowed grass, and clear rules about bedtimes, chores, holidays and other stuff of life. Once, he measured and dissected a magazine model’s photo, pointing out every imperfection of space and angle to challenge his young daughters’ ideas of perceived perfection.
Alex loved to cook soups and stews and revel in his wife’s baking; he designed his own “Marlex” greeting cards and anniversary poster tributes to his wife, lovingly created on his computer and printer at home. He loved to talk about cars and could recite details of every sedan he ever owned; he was a dog lover and ready to chat with any pet owner about their pooch, and was a softie to his own, including Schnapps, Toby and Scruffy. Every dog, he swore, would be the last, but another inevitably joined the family. Alex enjoyed working with wood, from whittling to making his own kitchen table to finishing the walls on his sunroom. He was a voracious reader, particularly of murder mysteries and novels of criminal intrigue. He played the piano. At one time, he and his wife square danced regularly, he in a bolo tie and boots, she in a bright green gingham dress.
He served in the 1950s in a Civil Defense corps, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and most recently served as an administrative member of the Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Company, thoroughly enjoying his role as editor of the Bulldog Bulletin and in expanding the company’s fundraising.
Along with his wife, Marge, he is survived by a daughter, Susan Marzolino and her husband, Tony, of Berkshire, N.Y.; daughter Anne Karolyi and her husband, Michael Orazzi, of Torrington, Conn.; grandson Tom Marzolino of Southern California and his wife, Shana, and a great-grandson about to be born any day now; grandson Nick Marzolino of western New York; grandson Wiley Dickerson of Hagerstown, Md.; grandson Niles Dickerson and his wife, Jessie, of Reston, Va.; and Scruffy the dog.
He was predeceased by a daughter, Elizabeth Austin of Hagerstown, Md., and by his parents, Leslie and Rose (Balintfy) Karolyi.
The funeral will be Friday, October 8 from the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc., 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale, with Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 am in St. Rose of Lima Church, 6 N. Church Street, Carbondale. Entombment will follow at Our Mother of Sorrows Mausoleum, Finch Hill. Friends may call Thursday, from 4 to 7 pm.
The family wishes to thank the Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Department for their support and assistance. Donations in Alex’s memory can be sent to the Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Knights of Columbus, or St. Rose of Lima Church.
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