SOUTH RANGE - Sharon M. Karppinen, 70, of South Range, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 2, 2013, at Marquette General Hospital.
She was born in Hancock on September 22, 1942, the daughter of the late John and Gena (Phillippi) Ozanich. She attended the Adams Township Schools and graduated from Jeffers High School in 1961.
Sharon married Donald Karppinen on Aug. 11, 1962, at Holy Family Catholic Church in South Range.
Sharon was a long-time businesswoman and, along with her husband, Donald, owned and operated several different businesses in the area: In 1962, they opened Karp's Auto Sales, a used car dealership. In the early 70's, they began selling Schult and Pathfinder mobile homes. In 1978, they opened the first Subaru dealership in the Upper Peninsula. In 1978, they owned and operated Karp's Ford Lincoln Mercury. In 1986, they opened up Range Convenience Corner, a local gas station and fuel oil business. Later, they owned and operated Range Auto Exchange and Repair until 2001 when they retired.
After her husband passed away unexpectedly in 2004, Sharon went back to work to pass the time. First, at the Copper Country Humane Society where her love for animals became apparent, especially those neglected and abused. In 2004, she became employed at Wal-Mart and worked there up until her time of death.
Sharon was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in South Range.
She was a very active person. She enjoyed vacationing with her husband and family in Las Vegas, taking day trips with her grandchildren to Minocqua or Eagle River, Wis. where they would visit the zoo, play miniature golf and ride the go-carts. She also loved to play bingo, going out to dinner with her friends on Thursday nights, spending time with her dogs and rescuing animals from abusive situations where she opened her home to any dog in need.
Sharon is survived by her daughters, Sharri and Jody Karppinen, both of Atlantic Mine; her two grandchildren, Scott Karppinen (Nicole Durham) of South Range and Amanda Chopp (Jeremy Wenlikowski, also of South Range); three great-grandchildren whom she thought the world of, Scottie, Cole and Sophia Karppinen of South Range; two aunts, Harriet Ozanich of Mesa, Ariz. and Mary Billings of Detroit; several cousins and friends.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, John and Gena Ozanich; her husband, Donald.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 6, 2013, in the Mountain View Mortuary in South Range with Fr. John Martignon to officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to services on Monday in the mortuary. Interment will be in the Mountain View Cemetery in South Range.
Arrangements are being handled by Antila Funeral Services, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.