John Krenzer, 84, of Oak Park, died on March 27, 2021, due to complications following a back injury. Born on May 31, 1936 in Springfield, Illinois, to Orville and Thelma Krenzer, he attended Knox College on an ROTC scholarship, where he met Joan Ross Krenzer, his wife of 57 years. He studied chemistry, which he loved, and went on to get his PhD in it at the University of Iowa. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and later moved to Oak Park, his wife’s hometown, to raise their family. In Chicago, he worked for Velsicol Chemical Company (where he was granted over 100 patents) and later at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.
He had a quiet demeanor and a dry humor that had anyone around him chuckling. He and Joan travelled and watched their amazing grandchildren grow up. He loved attending their concerts and sporting events, and hearing about their achievements. He could often be found in the library book stacks, and was well-known for riding his bike everywhere, up until his last few months. He and Joan loved riding their bikes along the lakefront, attending concerts at Millennium Park, and playing bridge with friends. He was the family photographer, taking amazing candid photos of everyone, and developing them in his own dark room. He enjoyed gathering with family at reunions and weddings.
Everyone hoped he would draw their name at family Christmas parties, as his gifts were usually homemade; over the years, he crafted stained glass flowers and ornaments, wooden birdhouses, and other amazing, one-of-a-kind gifts. He was happiest when he could saw, solder, or rig something up. He made a beautiful stained glass lamp for Joan in 1972, which still lights up the dining room years later.
John Krenzer was the husband of the late Joan Ross Krenzer; the father of Julie Krenzer (Glen) Frybarger, John (Alexis Prescott) Krenzer, and the late James Ross Krenzer; the grandfather of Shaina, G, Anna, Jake, Chase and Chance; the brother of Dory (Jerry) Byers, Paul (Donna) Krenzer, and Bud (Doris) Krenzer; the brother-in-law of Suellen (Tim) Lee; the uncle of Elsa Lee (Kurt Nilsson), Tim (Maria) Lee, Scott Krenzer, Art (Kelly) Krenzer, Karen Byers, Mark Byers, Lesley (Jeff) Bush, Alan (Laura) Krenzer, and Kevin Krenzer; and the cousin and friend of many.
Private interment at Chapel Hill Gardens Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity or cards with memories are appreciated.
Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.