Judge Diane Joan Karpinski
passed away peacefully on
December 26, 2020 at Jefferson
Healthcare in Jefferson, Ohio..
As the youngest daughter of
John and Helen (Olszewski)
Karpinski, Diane was born
on June 3, 1935. Diane was a
graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas
School, Norte Dame high school,
Ohio State University earning
both her Bachelor’s and Master’s
degrees. While at the OSU she
met the love of her life Peter L.
Levitsky and after a twenty year engagement, they were married
at Our Lady of Peace Church. They lived in the Karpinski family
home in Cleveland on Ludlow Road near Shaker Square. She
continued her teaching career at Cleveland State University.
But being true to herself, Diane continued her own education,
and graduated from Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1980.
Following in her family traditions, she was dedicated to
public service. Diane worked for thirteen years as an Assistant
Attorney General for the State of Ohio, trying more than
1600 cases at the trial level and practicing extensively in the
appellate courts of five different districts in northern Ohio and
at the Ohio Supreme Court. She was elected in 1995 to a six-
year term as Judge in the Court of Appeals of the 8th District
of Ohio and was subsequently re-elected to a second term. She
was appointed as a visiting judge on the Ohio Supreme Court
for a series of significant cases on automatic license suspension.
Judge Karpinski demonstrated a strong commitment to her
professions, first as a teacher and also as an attorney. Active
in the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, she served on its
Certified Grievance and the Court of Appeals Committees. Since
1998 she was a Trustee of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association.
She was also a member of the Cleveland Bar Association
Appellate Court Committee. In 2001, she was the first to chair
a new committee of the Ohio State Bar Association entitled the
Independent Judiciary and Unjust Criticism of Judges.
Because of her dual professions, she was often invited to lecture
on appellate writing. Judge Karpinski valued her community
and her Polish ethnic heritage. With her two sisters, Mercedes
Spotts and Gloria Joy Battisti, she was a founding trustee of
the East Side Catholic Shelter for the Homeless. For years, she
sang in Our Lady of Peace Church Choir, and for one summer
was its interim organist. After studying Polish at the Alliance
of Poles for three years, she joined a team of teachers who
traveled to Gdansk to teach English in the summer of 1993.
Continuing her Mother’s (Helen Karpinski) interest in ethnic
affairs, especially in the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation,
Judge Karpinski volunteered her services as its counsel. She was
a long-time member of the American Polish Women’s Club,
chaired the Budget and By-Laws Committees at the Alliance of
Poles Conventions, and served as Treasurer of Group 88 of the
Polish Women’s Alliance. For two years she was a judge for the
Polonia Foundation Scholarship Committee and a member of
the Foundation Board.
Diane is survived by her nephews David Melvin (Sharon) Spotts,
Esq., John A. Spotts and great-nephew, David Matthew Spotts.
She was preceded in death, by her sisters, Mercedes Helen
Spotts, Gloria Joy Batttisti, husband, Peter L. Levisky, and
parents John and Helen J.Karpinski.
A memorial service will be in the Spring of 2021. Donations
can be made in her honor to The Cleveland Food Bank at
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