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Todd Michael Karnahan, 46, of Kansas City, KS, died peacefully at home with his devoted wife, Leslie Ochs Karnahan by his side on June 11, 2012. Todd fought a long and painful battle against cancer. Todd and Leslie fought this terrible disease together with great courage, dignity and integrity. “Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.” A Rosary and Memorial service was held on June 19th at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shawnee, KS. A green graveside Memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 1st at 12:00 PM at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, KS. Following the service, there will be a gathering and vegetarian potluck meal in Burcham Park in Lawrence, KS. The gathering is sponsored by Todd and Leslie’s many friends and members of Los Punk Rods car club. Family and friends from the Kansas City area who plan to attend the Lawrence Memorial are invited to join us in a formal procession to Lawrence, leaving promptly at 11 am from the Boulevard Drive-in Theatre on Merriam Drive in Kansas City, KS. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to the Todd Karnahan Memorial fund, PO Box 2614, Shawnee Mission,KS 66201 or via PAYPAL atwww.lospunkrods.com.
Todd was born November 16, 1965 in El Dorado, KS to Mike Karnahan and Suzy Cox Karnahan (Zinnia Vandenberg). During his youth, Todd made his home in El Dorado, Hayes, Madison, and Wichita in Kansas.and the Los Angeles, CA area where he had wild adventures and befriended fabulous people. As an adult he again lived in Wichita, KS., Lawrence, KS., Kansas City, MO., and Kansas City, KS., where he continued his exuberant explorations with his best friend Jeff Pendergraft.
On May 17, 1997, Todd married his true love and soul mate, Leslie Ochs, at Danforth Chapel in Lawrence, KS. From courtship through their entire marriage, Leslie shared his creative vision, working diligently alongside him to bring each vision to life “in sickness and in health”.
Todd is survived by his wife, Leslie Ochs Karnahan; his mother, Zinnia Vandenberg (the former Suzy Cox Karnahan); his father, Mike Karnahan; his paternal grandmother, Joyce Karnahan; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Margaret and C.J. Ochs; his stepfather, Daniel Vandenberg; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family on all sides and countless friends and fellow brothers and sisters in Los Punk Rods.
Todd was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Wayne Douglas Cox Jr.; his maternal grandmother, Alice Cox Irwin; his step grandfather, Larry Irwin; his paternal grandfather, Robert “Bob” Karnahan; his uncle, Roger Karnahan; and his beloved pit bull, Forrest.
Todd seemed destined to “take the road less traveled” from infancy, sharing his joyful spirit, silly sense of humor, depth of feeling, quirky imagination, and his preference for laughter over merely smiling. As soon as he could stand and pick up any sort of prop or writing, drawing or coloring tool, he began to demonstrate his creative artistry. He seemed to capture the heart of everyone who ever met him, especially those lucky enough to talk with him or to glimpse the gleam in his eye.
Early in life, Todd entered “the school of hard knocks”, which he rose above and integrated into his lifelong interests and studies, from art and philosophy to history and street smarts. His day to day work and entrepreneurial and charitable accomplishments included the creation of the American Greaser Supply Company, the Kowtown Custom Greaserama multi-media art and car show and Los Punk Rods car club. He was also an innovative and hard-working painting contractor, taking great care in the custom techniques he developed over the years. Yet he was most proud of receiving his 10 year chip from AA and the huge success of the ever growing event called Greaserama. In his sobriety, he discovered his passion for writing , putting his great story telling skills onto paper. He always spoke of his gratitude for everyone who came to Greaserama for the past 12 years and for all his “brothers and sisters” who shared the vision.
He was Punk Rod Todd and he will forever be loved and missed.