Bobby Karpan Jr was a small town guy. He was raised in a loving household with both parents, two sisters and his coon dogs. As a child, Bobby most enjoyed anything with wheels and/or a motor, catching crawdads in the creek outside his house and just being a boy getting dirty with his friends. But that rough and tough little boy had a tender, thoughtful heart. He always thought of his sisters before himself.
Transitioning into his adult years the wheels got bigger and motors got louder. Bobby loved living on the edge. His hobby was racing figure 8 cars. His family spent many nail biting nights in the stands watching him take the high side and floor it through the intersection. He even lived on the edge in his career as a bridge builder. But when the expense of his hobby got to be too much Bobby made the decision to hang the hat on racing for the time being. Surprisingly, he said he didn’t miss the racing—but he missed how it brought his family together. To say the least….his family meant the world to him. He especially cherished his two beautiful children. He was surrounded by love in every direction by his parents, two sisters, children, nieces, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
Everybody loved to see his huge smile. It was warming, and contagious. No matter where he went he was always finding someone to have a conversation with – whether it was an elder at the post office, or teenagers cutting donuts in a snowy church parking lot. He was a man that knew no strangers. One of the things that Bobby was most known for was his caring nature and want to help others. He would give you the shirt off his back and the last penny from his pocket, no matter who you were. If you needed anything — a helping hand, a friend, a car, a meal, an ear, a shoulder, a roof over your head, a dollar — Bobby was there for you. This was the light of his life. But there was also a darkness.
Bobby was always there to help everyone else – but what he couldn’t do, was help himself. Behind that warm, contagious smile and tender heart, Bobby struggled with addiction and depression. He was cursed with a lifetime of undeserved pain, and slow self-destruction. He didn’t ask for this, want this or choose this. At the age of 29, an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol took his life. Was he a junkie? A low life? Absolutely not. He was Bobby – a father, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. A good person, with a big heart in war with addiction.
The mission of this memorial is to remember Bobby and others lost to this tragedy. Raise awareness on issues of substance abuse and beat down the stigma associated with it. Donate to support treatment and grief resources. Share your memories of Bobby, personal experiences, thoughts/feelings. And access the linked websites to become more educated on issues of substance abuse and direction to treatment and grief resources.