For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


Robert Igor Michael Karpiak


Lieutenant, O-37747, RCN(R)


Born: 14 Aug 1942, Berlin, German


Died: 19 Sep 2017, Kitchener, Ontario


KARPIAK, Robert Igor Michael (Tuiatamai Bobby)


Tuiatamai-e, 'Ua tagi fatu ma 'ele'ele, 'amu'ia le masina, e alu ma toe sau, 'a 'o 'oe, 'ua e sola, ete le toe fo'i mai, au-e, 'ua momomo lota loto. 'O se 'alaga'upu o Samoana, e le tu mauga tagata, 'ae peita'i 'o se manatu fa'a-Hawai'i, e Ku Mauna ea, e ku'uipo, e ku'ualoha, ei-nei, e ui lava ina pala ma'a, e le pala le 'upu

(Stones and the earth weep, blessed is the moon, it goes away and comes back, but you are gone, never to return. My heart is broken. A Samoan proverb says that people do not stand as mountains (for we die). But the Hawaiian way is to stand as mountains, (and do so) my sweetheart, my love, you-there, for although stones decay, The Word does not).


KARPIAK, Robert Igor Michael (Tuiatamai Bobby) - My beloved, e ia nei, e ku'uipo, e ku'ualoha, la'u pele moni, passed away this September 19, 2017 at St. Mary's Hospital with his youngest son, Michael and me present for his last breaths. The medical staff of St. Mary's Hospital Intensive Care Unit were nearby, and Reverend Cindy Lee prayed for our Bobby. He comes from a small family, but is survived by many. Tuiatamai Robert Igor Michael Karpiak is survived by his wife, D Sa'ilimalo and children: Paul, Katherine "Katie", Michael "Mikey"/Krista, Daniel, Darsha "Sarah D"/Lars "Kippy", and Davida "Viva"/Steffen. Bobby is grandpa to three youngsters: Amory "Yoshka", Kekalaholuokekaipu'eone 'The Fish", and Juliette Naeve "Wubba". Tuiatamai Bobby is also survived by his sister, Irene "Reenie"/Wayne and their sons, Andre/Karen and Ilyan/Andrea, and sisters-in-law, Talalupelele/Patrick, Deevon/Patrick and the late Fagatogo U Sotoa's widow Deelou, mother-in-law, Salamasina Saipale Fesaga'iga Steffany, grandmother-in-law, Sailiemanu Steffany, brothers-in-law, Michael/Siala, Sepp/Theresa, Dawson, Berto, and Malietau Peron, nieces and nephews: Ane, Sinalei, Sivailei, 'Ina, Isaiah, Jedidiah-Leroy, Justene "Missy", Salofi, Aaron, and Amy. Our beloved Bobby is also survived by uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and in-laws of the: Haggenmiller Steffany 'ohana, Mossman 'ohana, Hugo 'ohana, Alo 'ohana, Fesagaíga Asuega 'ohana, Seumanutafa 'ohana, Sotoa 'ohana, Paiva 'ohana, and Espinda, Niko, Kealoha, Fuimaono, Tuilefano, and Lauvao 'ohana. Tuiatamai was born in Berlin, Germany in 1942 at 1:55 a.m., to Myroslava and Zenon Karpiak, his birth followed by air raid. His early years were in Austria before emigrating with mom, dad, and sister, Reenie to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1949. Of Winnipeg, he especially missed Myrosia-mom-and every so often reflected on their after-school Saturday spread of rye bread, assorted sausages, and Alberta rye whisky. When she was alive, he daren't visit her in Winnipeg, even in the retirement home, without a 750ml of Badel, her favourite. Two shots of this "preference" and garlic village sausage were his last savour before the tragic September 8-9 transition into the midnight hour. Tuiatamai graduated as Valedictorian from Sisler High School, was awarded Honours BA and MA in French and Russian from the University of Manitoba, and a PhD in Slavic Studies on 25th May 1978 from the University of Ottawa. As a youth and young man, Tuiatamai was a scout with Ukrainian Plast, accepted as a sea cadet with HMCS Chippawa in 1959, active in Ukrainian Students choir, and Alpha Omega and Obnova Societies. Tuiatamai completed University Naval Training, receiving his commission in the Canadian Armed Forces, serving as a Naval Intelligence officer at Military Headquarters in Ottawa. His other calling as a linguist led him to an academic career, first teaching at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario for 5 years before his 30 years as professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo. He retired as professor emeritus in 2007. Tuiatamai loved opera, classical music and played with passion the piano the harpsichord, clavichord, and other chords. Tuiatamai was an especially keen and ardent student of military history, mainly focusing on WWII in both the Atlantic and Pacific spheres. We often watched war movies and documentaries together. Dr Karpiak was an avid reader, reading up on any-and-all subjects. In presentation, my handsome sailor was savvy, a charmer, and quite the conversationalist. He treasured his Ukrainian heritage and was most proud to be German. Our Tuiatamai Bobby had two very prestigious careers: one as a naval officer in the RCN and another as Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo. Indeed, Tuiatamai was very proud of his military service as a sailor in Canada's own RCN, and was most confident in his abilities as a respected professor. Not withstanding, he frequently expressed that his happiest years were with me, his retirement plan. Our time together was intense, too short, and we were inseparable. Death parted us. We spent our days being service-humans to our beloved calico, Liechtenstein "Liechtie," and were graced with daily visits from a pai


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