Cover photo for Michael A. Karp's Obituary

Michael A. Karp

October 22, 1940 — April 18, 2024

North Little Rock

Michael A. Karp

Mike Karp was born on October 22, 1940 in Bird Island, Minnesota to Laura and Frank Karp, the sixth of eight children. Mike grew up with a fishing pole in one hand and a baseball glove in the other – that is, when he was not hunting deer, duck, or anything with feathers. At age sixteen he found his lifelong love of golf which he would share with his friends, his children, and his grandchildren for the rest of life.

Faith was always the defining character of Mike’s life. After high school he entered the seminary, but ultimately answered the call to marriage. Mike served in the stateside Army National Guard and eventually went to work for Graybar Electric in Minneapolis. In 1967, Mike’s sister, Louise, set him up on a blind date with Rose Marie Simmons. When he returned to work the following day, his radiance shone so brightly that all his coworkers knew that he was most definitely in love. Six months later they were married. Their marriage would bring them five wonderful children, seventeen grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and fifty-six joyous years. 

Graybar relocated the young Karp family first to Atlanta, Georgia and then to North Little Rock, Arkansas where Mike became the Financial Branch Manager. When he retired after thirty-one years at this job, Mike remarked to his son Dan: “I’ve had one job, one house, and one wife. I am a most unusual man.”  Mike Karp was indeed an extraordinary man who led a remarkable family. He took his children on many camping, hunting, and fishing adventures, endured the loud rehearsal of his children’s many musical instruments, and made sure everyone was home for dinner at 6pm. He would thoughtfully prepare a meal and take the phone off the hook in order to be present with his family. Nothing was important enough to interrupt their family time. This ritual was second only to the family’s attendance at Sunday morning Mass. 

Mike was a parishioner at Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Throughout his life he led small groups and spiritual reading groups, marriage retreats, volunteered for Kairos prison ministry, and for twenty years he faithfully covered the 1:00a.m. Monday holy hour in the perpetual adoration chapel. 

After his retirement, the dinners he cooked only became more elaborate. Mike’s creative flare for cooking and love of hosting extended to friends from all circles, old and new, and he was always willing to try out a new recipe on his guests. Many afternoons were spent on the golf course or volunteering at the Helping Hand food pantry. He cultivated a beautiful garden full of peppers, flowers, and the occasional eggplant. His house was full of good books, worn playing cards from so many games of bridge, and many cans of his pickled green beans. 

His sense of adventure would lead him to embark on many pilgrimages around the world with Rose Marie. From Yellowstone to Italy, Greece to the Holy Land, they marveled at the beauty of God’s creation together and made countless memories.

 Throughout his life, Mike accumulated great wisdom. He celebrated the spontaneity he often practiced and encouraged others to seize the day. His keen insights on how to live the good life will continue to live on for many, many years to come. Anyone who knew him could see that Mike embraced life with a good sense of humor and a generous spirit. He worked hard, he prayed often, and he loved well. During the last year of his life, Mike prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet each night with Rose Marie. In the end, he died surrounded by the family he loved, and he joyously returns to the Lord he loves. 

 Mike is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Rose Marie, and their five children: Dan Karp and wife (Kim) of Alexander, AR, Brian Karp (Sherri) of Siloam Springs, AR, Sister Anna Laura Karp, O.P. of Nashville, TN, Steven Karp (Leah) of Elm Springs, AR, and Matt Karp (Cassy) of Jacksonville, AR. Seventeen grandchildren: Justin Karp (Abby), Patrick Karp, Jacob Karp, Andrew Karp, Lucy Karp, Bekah Haught (Andrew), Katie Łastowiecka (Kacper), Noah Karp (Jaelee), Caleb Karp, Mila Karp, Sarah Karp, Hannah Karp, Clara Karp, Michael Karp, Ellen Karp, Vincent Karp, and Emily Karp. Five great-grandchildren:  Elias Karp, Maggie Karp, Anderson Haught, Olivia Karp, and Benjamin Haught.  Mike is further survived by his sister Louise Liffrig of Stillwater, Minnesota and many nieces, nephews, and friends. 

 Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 21 from 2-6 p.m. with the rosary at 6 p.m. at Smith Family Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street, North Little Rock. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 7000 JFK Blvd, North Little Rock, followed by interment at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery at 7025 Jasna Gora, North Little Rock.



Smith North Little Rock Funeral Hoe, 1921 Main St., North Little Rock, AR  72114.  501-758-1170
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael A. Karp, please visit our flower store.
In light of increasing scams, all guestbook entries will now be approved by us. At Smith Family Funeral Homes, safeguarding the privacy and personal memories of your loved ones for family and friends is our top priority. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Past Services

Viewing

Sunday, April 21, 2024

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home - North Little Rock

1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Sunday, April 21, 2024

6:00 - 6:30 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home - North Little Rock

1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Monday, April 22, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

7000 John F Kennedy Blvd, North Little Rock, AR 72116

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Monday, April 22, 2024

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Central time)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery, North Little Rock

7006 Jasna Gora Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 1066

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree