Diane Joan Karpinski

June 3, 1935 ~ December 26, 2020 (age 85)


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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