In Loving Memory

Frederick M. Karkowski

June 4, 1937 - February 21, 2023


Frederick Michael Karkowski, 85, a resident of Spanish Fort, AL, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.

Fred was born June 4, 1937, in Buffalo, NY to Henry and Laura Karkowski. He was a graduate of Canisius College of Buffalo, receiving his BS in 1960.  He was a member of DiGamma Honors Society. In 1964, he received his PhD from Wayne State University. Fred worked as an Organic Chemist. And was the inventor of the yellow tennis ball color.

Fred was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church, where he enjoyed singing in the church choir.  Fred had a love for model trains and was a member of the South West Alabama Railroad Modelers.  He was also the president for the Spanish Fort Fire Department Auxiliary.

Fred was Preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Laura Karkowski. He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Jeanne D. Karkowski; his children, Laura (Wayne) Thornton, PhD, of Richmond, VA, Stephanie (David) Meli of Toms River, NJ, Andrea Karkowski, PhD, of Columbus, OH, Sarah (Kevin Cartwright) Bruno of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Angela (John) Duffy of Bay Minette, AL and Alicia Smith of Fairhope, AL; grandchildren, Nicole (Charles Gowan) Shuman, Michelle Shuman, Giovanni Bruno, Sienna Bruno, Robert Hines, Jacob Hines, Samuel (Christina) Sheets, Alan Steadham and Leo Steadham; great-grandchildren, Ayden Hines, Conner Hines, Karlee Sheets, and Abilgail Sheets; siblings, Lorraine (Francis) Frechette and Carolyn (Donald) Ingwersen; as well as by nieces, great nieces, and great nephews.

The family would like to thank Drs. Douglas Amare, Christopher Mire, Jennifer Sykora, the staff at Fresenius Medical Care/Eastern Shore dialysis clinic, and the staff of 2 South at Thomas Hospital for the many years of loving care they provided.

A memorial mass will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 711 College Avenue in Daphne, AL, on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 11:00AM. There will be a time of visitation prior to the service beginning at 10:00AM.                

Interment will take place at a later date in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to any of the following:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at

St. Michael’s Catholic High School at
Put in the comments “In Memory of Fred Karkowski”  or send a check to: SMCHS, 11732 St. Michael Way, Fairhope, AL 36532. Put on memo line: “Guardian Angel – In Memory of Fred Karkowski”

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.


  1. PJ Doyle


  2. James J Maul

    Fred was my classmate at Canisius, and at Wayne State U. I always respected his honesty, character and love of God.
    God Bless you Fred

  3. Karen Mandrella

    An awesome friend and neighbor. Fred will be sorely missed. A privilege knowing this wonderful man along with his wife, Jeannie.

  4. Bernie Gorden

    1 also was a classmate of Fred, at Wayne State university. He was aways very lively, honest, and a good friend, We wish him God’s speed…he will rembered as a good and kind person…always willing to help when needed.

  5. Bob Kuczkowski

    Fred was my close compatriot from soph thru senior years at Canisius College. We often studied together particularly organic chemistry, his strength. Fred was a leader. He was the president of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate Chapter. Fred was a warm- and big-hearted friend who has given me many fond memories of our time together. Requiescat in pace.

  6. Vern Ball

    I met Fred about 10 years ago at coffee and donuts following Mass.[ Fred loved donuts!] We connected right away, possibly because our June birthdates were within one day of each other.
    Fred was a storyteller, and I learned much from him during his stories, most of which were true!
    This is some of Fred’s stories:
    Growing up in Buffalo New York:
    – Loaded 100 pound bags feed at the feedmill while battling rats.
    – Installed a part at the Ford assembly plant. Cannot remember which part it was, but am sure it was important!
    – Handled bloody sides of beef while working at the supermarket.
    – [Fords were the only car that could be started in the cold Buffalo winters]
    PhD chemist:
    – Department head at major chemical company.
    – Averted major fire by quick, decisive action.
    – Developed formula for hotdog coloring.
    – Developed formula to protect submarine launch missiles electronic components from seawater damage
    Railroad man:
    – Expert in railroad history and operations.
    – Built entire model railroad city in his basement, complete with multiple switches and realistic scenery.
    – Customized and repaired railroad equipment.
    -Changing the name on a car involved very careful and skillful application of delicate decals.
    Religious man:
    — Prayed frequently
    – Always willing to share his religion.
    – Frequent participant in adoration chapel.
    – Powerful choir singing voice.
    – Participated in religious protests.
    I spent many Sundays visiting with Fred and Jeanne. I observed how they both loved each other and how well Jeanne always took care of Fred especially during his most difficult times, even though she herself was dealing with medical issues.
    I miss Fred, but am happy for him that he is with Jesus.

  7. Bill Gottschalk

    So very sorry to learn of Fred’s passing. He was a terrific MC and had a great sense of humor. I worked with Fred at Ciba-Geigy in Toms River, NJ.
    My prayers and condolences to his family


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