“Promise me you’ll always love me.”
To all those lucky enough to have known Art Karma, they would not be surprised that his last words were, “I love you “ and that he ended phone conversations with family, “Promise me you’ll always love me.” And we always will! He was so easy to love and admire because of his loving heart, thoughtfulness, kindness, strength, courage, positive attitude, sense of humor, leadership, service to his country and to others, and continual faith.
Art was born on July 20, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York, to Lebanese immigrant parents, Amelia Massoud and Faris Karma. He was raised in Lincoln Heights and Alhambra, California, and attended Alhambra High School. There he was a top student, star debater, football player and serious Boy Scout, then Eagle Scout. After high school, he enrolled at UCLA and Air Force ROTC. After graduating from UCLA, he became an active military member bravely serving in the Korean War as a bombardier. After the war, he stayed active until he enrolled into UCLA law school. He remained in the Air Force Reserves reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel! After passing the Bar Exam, he became a Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles. Subsequently, he joined a large law firm before beginning his own law firm in Torrance, California. As in all he did, he was highly regarded for his integrity, honesty, and work ethic. During his retirement years, he was very involved in our Lady of Assumption Church in Ventura serving as Athletic Director, coach of many teams, prayer leader, and coordinator of holiday outreach programs. In his senior residence, he was embraced and respected by fellow residents and his caregivers all of whom he greatly respected and appreciated. To them he was lovable Art!
But no one loved him more than family – mother Amelia, stepdad Mitchell Abraham, paraplegic Uncle Al, sisters Diane and Duchess, brother Mike and sister-in-law Sara, brother-in-law Dick, his “little girl” daughter Michele, who lost her hero, son-in-law Brian, devoted son Mark, adopted daughter Arlene, nephew Tom, and other relatives plus so many friends. Those hundreds of students he coached, mentored and inspired, and all the parish of OLA will dearly miss smiling Mr. Karma who passed away on his mother’s birthday August 21, 2018. She and God are greeting him -“Welcome, Son”.
In lieu of flowers, Art asked that donations be made to the Our Lady of the Assumption Church Education Fund.