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Reverend George F. Krempin


1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Reverend  George F. Krempin Obituary
Reverend George F. Krempin

Green Bay - Reverend George F. Krempin

May 24, 1935 - May 15, 2018

Compassionate and quick witted. Firm but fair. Principled yet unassuming. Devoted servant of God and most loyal friend.

These are just a few of the words to describe the Rev. George F. Krempin and the mark he has made on the lives of all who were blessed to know him. He was called home to his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Pastor Krempin was born in the Canadian prairie town of Lampman, Saskatchewan, Canada, during the waning years of the Great Depression. Locust plagues and near-suffocating dust storms added to the misery of the times. He lived under these conditions for the first four years of his life. When his father died an untimely death at age 37, his mother and her four young children moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to be near extended family. There, Pastor Krempin grew up with his three sisters, whom he adored (and adored antagonizing). The family may have had limited means, but it was rich beyond measure in love, loyalty and unwavering Christian faith—values that would be his guiding principles his entire life.

Early on, he felt called to follow his father's footsteps into ordained ministry. He graduated from United College in Winnipeg and with honors from the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio (now Trinity Seminary). Intending on a career as a Navy or prison chaplain, he attended Andover Newton Theological School on a full scholarship to study clinical pastoral education and went on to attain a Master's degree in Sacred Theology. To put himself through school, he worked as a ladies' shoes salesman, a commercial truck driver (fudging his qualifications to get the job) and a hospital switchboard operator. His drive and work ethic were second to none.

To satisfy the church's requirement of three years of parish experience as a prerequisite to specialized ministry, he accepted the call to the American Lutheran Church of Enid, Oklahoma (home to Vance Air Force Base), becoming the congregation's third pastor in 36 months. Eight years later, he resumed his chaplaincy quest by entering the University of Detroit Master of Arts program in psychotherapy and marriage counseling, working simultaneously on his Doctorate of Ministry from Andover Newton and serving Detroit's Faith Lutheran Church as a part-time associate. It was here he would meet his wife Rita on a blind date; they were married in 1972. In 1974, he, Rita and their infant daughter Jennifer relocated to Green Bay, where he would serve in team ministry at Grace Lutheran Church for the next 25 years. Though Pastor Krempin's original plan had been chaplaincy, God clearly had other plans.

During his time in Green Bay, he was not only a beloved pastor but also a valued community leader. He served on the Interfaith Seaman's Ministry and was involved in UWGB's campus ministry. He was a board member of Family Services Association of Brown County, Lutheran Social Services, the Brown County Ad Hoc Committee on the Mental Health Center, the Pamiro Opera Company and, more recently, the Bay Area Community Council and served on the ethics committee of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. After retiring from parish ministry in 2000, he worked as a chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital in Green Bay, was an active member of Ascension Lutheran Church and enjoyed golf, travel and many lively gatherings with his family and retired pastor friends.

For all his accomplishments, Pastor Krempin's greatest gift was his heart for people. He genuinely cared about everyone and treated everyone with the same kindness and dignity, from the most distinguished CEO to the most down-and-out. His mail was filled with letters of appreciation, whether from former confirmation students seeking to show their gratitude or from the incarcerated desperate for hope. As a young church friend once wrote: "Everyone who knows Pastor George loves him a lot. Just as he makes me feel special to God, he makes me feel special to him, too." As both pastor and friend, he walked alongside countless people during their life's greatest joys and deepest sorrows, the Lord's shepherd in the truest sense.

Pastor Krempin is survived by the love of his life and greatest treasure, wife, Rita; cherished daughter, Jennifer Krempin (Dr. Benjamin) Bridgman of Alexandria, Va.; sisters, Mrs. Robert (Roberta) Roloff of Green Bay and Mrs. J. Philip (Janice) Wahl of Columbus, Oh.; and beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and godchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. Arthur and Clara Krempin; sister, Mrs. Thelma (Roland) Vogt; brothers-in-law Mr. Roland Vogt, Mr. Robert Roloff, Bishop J. Philip Wahl and Mr. Harry "Butch" Crawford; and cousin and best friend Rev. N. Ralph Huget.

The family will receive visitors from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 18 at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Avenue, Green Bay and from 2 to 3 p.m. preceding the Funeral Service at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 19 at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2911 Libal Street, Green Bay. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.

Memorial donations may be made to Ascension Lutheran Church, 2911 Libal Street, Green Bay, WI 54301 (www.ascensiongb.com); Grace Lutheran Church, 321 S. Madison Ave., Green Bay, WI 54301 (www.gracegb.org) or (www.michaeljfox.org).

The family expresses gratitude to Pastors Luther and Lori Swenson for their regular visits and ministry to George; to family, clergy friends and Ascension community members who visited regularly and kept the family in their prayers; to dear friend, A.J. Frea for his assistance and friendship; to the exceptional medical staff at St. Vincent Hospital; and the staff at Home Instead and Angels Touch Assisted Living for their compassionate care.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from May 16 to May 17, 2018
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