In Memory

Jerome Roy Karnofski (Vice Principal)

Jerome Roy Karnofski (Vice Principal)

Jerome Roy Karnofski

August 14, 1925 -- November 13, 2023

Jerry Karnofski obituary, 1925-2023, Everett, WA

Jerry Karnofski, of Edmonds, slipped quietly away at 98 on November 13, by his fireplace with his cats by his side. A perfect ending to a full life. Born in 1925 in Brainerd, Minnesota to Polish Catholic parents, he was the sixth child of eight. They moved to Longview where he excelled in sports at a young age. He became an All-American athlete at R.A. Long lettering in football, basketball, and baseball. In 1943, he joined the Army Air Corps and returned in 1946 to marry his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Weston. They settled in Bellingham where he attended Western, played football, and started his family. In 1950, they moved to Edmonds for a teaching and coaching job at Edmonds High School. He earned his master's degree at the University of Washington and moved into school administration in 1964. The highlight of his career was opening Lynnwood High School as Principal and was voted by his teachers as Outstanding Educator in the State of Washington. Jerry was a community leader, helping start the Little League and Boys and Girls Club programs in Edmonds. In 1988 he retired and began to travel the world with his wife Marilee and enjoy his beautiful gardens. For 73 years he watched the sun go down across Puget Sound and never tired of it. He is survived by his brother Ray, his children, Nan, Rebecca and Mark, Mark's wife Caren, granddaughters, Rachal and Bex, his stepdaughter Lori and his four step grandchildren Jesse, Leah, Brooke and Michaela. Our family invites you to his Celebration of Life on February 8 at 1pm at Purdy & Walters Floral Hills in Lynnwood.

Published by The Herald (Everett) from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2024.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jerome Roy Karnofski of Edmonds, Washington, who passed away on November 13, 2023, at the age of 98. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Karnofski family.

Memories can be shared with MHS '66 classmates in the "Post Comments" link, below. When a full obituary is available, it will be posted here.

Pictured below, Mr. Karnofski at age 96, pumping iron at the Edmonds Harbor Square Athletic Center. For the full interview with him, check out this link:

Photo: My Edmonds News, August 12, 2021

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11/25/23 10:32 AM #4    

James Davidson

I had tremendous admiration for VP Jerry Karnofski.  Some of my closest friends have heard me speak of our senior registration day where I was about to defend myself against Dave Greenberger in an outside hallway; and out of nowhere Mr. Karnofsky grabbed my right arm as I was mid swing, and he broke up what was a moment of truth that could have been disasterous for me.  Beyond that he had a few talks with me over a few other issues, and he was instructive and constructive in our private talks.  I have thought of him many times since I departed MHS, and he stands out as a man who had a very positive influence on me as a young man.  I owe him a lot, and will always be grateful for his professional guidance as our Vice Principal.  He lived a long life, but his infuence will live with many of us many more years longer.  RIP, Jerry Karnofski and thank you for all the lessons along the way.

11/25/23 01:17 PM #5    

Stan Stebing

I was lucky enough to get to talk to Mr. Karnofski at the MHS 1967 50th Class Reunion. He was so appreciative to get to attend and see so many of the former Meadowdale students. I was fortunate enough to only be sent to his office once, in my junior year, for wearing my shirt tail out. I got sent home for the rest of the day!! That wasn't so bad. At least I never got caught skipping school which happened quite a few times!!

11/25/23 04:16 PM #6    

Kevin Cloud Brechner

He had one of the toughest jobs at MHS.  He was the Vice Prinicpal who had the role of Enforcer.  He enforced the rules and dealt with those students who didn't care, didn't want to be there, were young and uncontrolled or were downright mean. Boys and Girls.  He was very good at the job, and I would guess he viewed his role as trying to save as many of these kids as he could, keep them moving up within the educational system, and channeling destructive energy into constructive energy  I really loved the article and photos of him at 96,  I wish I looked as fit as he was.  And when he wasnt being the enforcer he was a nice guy with a sense of humor. R.I.P Mr. Karnofski, the Peace Maker.

11/26/23 09:00 AM #7    

Ginger Jay (Williams)

Thank you Kevin , yes he looked great for his age all any of us really want is to live our elder years healthy in mind and spirit and physically sound seems he had that formula, rest in peace  on to a new journey.

11/26/23 04:12 PM #8    

Paul Tomlin (MHS '65)

RIP, Mr. Karnofski.  "It's cool to care".

11/26/23 04:33 PM #9    

David Zehrung

He is a man I remember quite well; he always greeted me by my 'name' and talked to me about all kinds of things besides wrestling. I always thought he was a special vice principal because of that fact that he knew my name for something other than being in trouble. RIP

11/27/23 10:38 AM #10    

Michael Burton

Students today will never understand the quality of leaders we had back then..we all walked the line because no one wanted to be sent to the office to the see the Vice Principal..R.I.P. Mr K...You helped raise a great generation that went on to do great things..

11/27/23 02:56 PM #11    

Pat Echelbarger

Mike Burton:  Marilyn and I were just talking about how lousy our generation has protected what we were left by our parents and grandparents.  The problems of today are "our doing", either directly or through our neglect of what has been going on around us.  The Anti-Vietnam Crowd was allowed to take over our government and what we have today is a direct result of that behavior.  

Jerry Karnofski was a gunner in a B-26 (I think B-26) and was headed to Europe in early 1945 when his Commanding Officer was told to find a second baseman for the "General's Post Baseball Team".  Jerrry told me he was spared going to Europe and stayed and played second base.  That's what he told me the last time I spoke with him.  He also did not deny a story I repeated to him about my brother-in-law (Marilyn's brother) who was in the class of 58 at Edmonds.  The story goes that football practice was over and everyone was walking back to the locker room down the sidewalk when a carload of kids from Ballard came by and called the players all sorts of nice names, (you can guess what they said).  The car went on down to the high school and turned around and headed back to run their mouths again.  Jerry jumped in front of the car, Stu Smith (played for the Baltimore Colts) reached in through the open window and proceeded to try to drag one of the kids out through the window.  Jerry did the same on the drivers side and the two coaches "had their way" with those punks!  I asked Jerry about it and he said, "yeah, that's kind of how I remember it"!  Now that is funny.  Can you see any teachers doing that today?  No, the Greatest Generation is almost gone and our society "can't carry their jock straps"!  My two cents.


11/28/23 09:11 AM #12    

Mike Buchmeier

I found Mr. Karnofsky to be the most reasonable of our administrative staff. He was friendly, always good for a smile and a good discussion, and seemed to understand the student mind better than the harder liners like John Garner and Harold Kloes. He was truly interested in the student.   That's the lasting impression that I have of Mr. K. How wonderful it is to see him working out at 96. 


11/29/23 08:35 AM #13    

Kathleen Bogart (Bendixsen)

He was an inspiration to many! A wonderful life and what a legacy he left. RIP to a great contributor to our generation and others.

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