Dennis Karalow

Obituary of Dennis T. Karalow

The family of Dennis T. Karalow is sad to announce his passing on Sunday, May 26, 2024, due to complications from Parkinson's Disease. Dennis was born on December 4, 1947, in Portsmouth, Virginia to Gustave T. and Genevieve (Telechowski) Karalow. Dennis' father was in the U.S. Coast Guard and in Dennis' earliest years the family lived at Coast Guard stations on the East Coast and Newfoundland, Canada, before permanently settling in Vienna, Virginia. After high school, as the Vietnam War began to escalate, Dennis enlisted in the Army ahead of the draft; this allowed him more flexibility and options that would increase his chances of joining an elite unit. He was quickly identified as a highly skilled soldier with great tactical potential, and after completing Ranger School, one of the toughest and most grueling schools in the Army, he joined the newly approved 75th Infantry Regiment. On 5 December 1968, the Chief of Staff, United States Army, approved the activation of the 75th Infantry as the parent regiment for all Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) units -a LRRP was a small, highly-skilled, and elite infantry unit that would specialize in penetrating deep into enemy lines in order to gather vital intelligence. This information would undoubtedly save hundreds of lives, as the jungle terrain of Vietnam could easily hide large enemy troop movements and deadly ambushes. Sergeant Karalow would join L Company, 75th Rangers as a general rifleman and explosives handler. During combat patrolling, Dennis was wounded by shrapnel from an enemy mine, and was awarded the Purple Heart. He would also earn many other citations for service with distinction, in perhaps what was one of the most deadly patrolling environments in the history of modern warfare. Once he recovered from his wounds, Dennis finished his tour and volunteered to re-enlist, so that he could train newer men in the particulars of stealth patrolling and intelligence gathering. Dennis completed his second tour and returned home a hero. Dennis was the owner/operator for 30 years of Connell's Valet, Inc., a dry cleaner in Vienna, Virginia, as well as Clear Sky Adventures, a hot-air balloon ride business. He was actively involved in and supported numerous aspects of life in Vienna and was a much-loved member of the community. After retiring, he and Melanie Steinberg, his companion of many years, moved to Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in upstate NY. Again, Dennis became actively involved in the life of the community, freely volunteering his heart, time and efforts to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, the Yates County Fitness Center, Milly's Pantry Backpack Food Program, and the Penn Yan Historic Commission. He is survived by his companion, Melanie Steinberg, of their home in Penn Yan; his daughter, Elizabeth Karalow, of Richmond, Virginia; sisters Delane Karalow of Lake Frederick, Virginia and Denise Green of Lynchburg, Virginia; and much-loved nephews Michael, Andrew and Brian McAllister. Details about services in Northern Virginia will be forthcoming. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to support the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, 8231 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport, NY 14840 or Ontario-Yates Hospice, 756 Pre-Emption Road, Geneva, NY 14456. Messages of sympathy can also be sent directly to the family at 302 Clinton Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527.
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