Herbert C. Krichbaum
1920 - 2017
{ "" }
Share Herbert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Herbert C. Krichbaum

CRESTLINE: Herbert C. Krichbaum, 96 of Crestline, died Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Arbors of Mifflin, Mansfield.

Herb was born in Crestline on May 26, 1920 to the late John Albert and Lillie (Pfahler) Krichbaum. He married Millie Jean Adams on October 19, 1947 and she preceded him in death on February 6, 1992. Herb married Virginia (Ayers) Brant on April 3, 1993 and she survives him.

Herb moved to Crestline in 1993 from Galion, and throughout his life lived in Columbus, Shelby, and Galion. He was a 1938 graduate of Crestline High School, an undergraduate of Capital University in 1947, then went on to receive a Master of Arts from The Ohio State University in 1956. Herb proudly served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army for 50 months in WWII, where he organized and instructed a drum and bugle corps. He was stationed at Camp Wheeler in Macon, GA where he taught explosives and demolitions.

Herb retired from Galion Public Schools after 25 years of service as Vocal Music Director. He previously taught in the Ontario, Whetstone and Leesville Schools. Herb retired with a total of 34 years of service. He was the Shelby Legion Band Director for 8 years. He served as the chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Galion High School. Many will remember Herb on Friday nights at the football stadium where he was the voice of the Galion Tiger Marching Band. A talented musician, Herb played the piano, organ, trumpet, guitar, and most any other instrument. Herb directed the Galion Community Chorus for 30 years and was the founder of the annual production of Handel's Messiah. Many in the community were taught private music lessons from Herb over his 53 year career, retiring in 1997.

Herb was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Galion where he served as Choir Director for 45 years. Currently, he was a member of the Ontario United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Galion Rotary Club, the Crestline Historical Society and a board member of Crawford County Society of Crippled Children and Adults.

In addition to his wife he is survived by his daughter, Melanie (Deacon Felix) Azzola, Delaware; 3 step-daughters: Marcia (Larry) Hetrick, Westerville, Sandra Watrous, Lexington, and Brenda (Roger) Chellew, Clayton, NC; grandchildren: Paul (Catherine) Azzola, Christopher Azzola, Aaron Azzola, Michael Azzola and Emily Azzola, Jennifer (Michael) Davis, Rebecca Hetrick, Lauren Watrous, Paul (Beth) Bisson, Alan Bisson, Eric Bisson, Zachary Chellew, Ben (Jessica) Chellew, Alex Chellew; great grandchildren: Leo Azzola, Ryan Azzola, Noah Bisson, Isaac Bisson, Kahlan Bisson, Devon Chellew, Abigail Davis, Elizabeth McKay, Colin McKay, and Lauren McKay.

In addition to his parents and his first wife, Jean, he was preceded in death by his step-son-in-law, William Watrous.

Friends may call Thurs. April 6, 2017 from 4-7 PM at the Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, 303 Portland Way North, Galion. Funeral services will be at the Ontario United Methodist Church, 3540 Park Ave. West, Ontario on Fri. April 7, 2017 at 10:30 AM with Rev. Peg Welch officiating. Burial will follow in Crawford County Memory Gardens, Crestline. Military graveside services will be given by the Galion Crestline Veterans Military Funeral Detail.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ontario United Methodist Church for the music program in care of the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made to the family at masfh.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in News Journal on Apr. 5, 2017.
Calling hours
04:00 - 07:00 PM
Crawford County Memory Gardens
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
24 entries
May 25, 2017
What a fine man, musician, mentor, community leader. I'm grateful I had the chance to sing under his kind direction--in choir, and girls ensemble, and community chorus--and to have enjoyed his presence on the marching band field, running up and down with us at practice, and of course, announcing our dynamic, if sometimes stumbling, performances on the field at Heise Park. Mr. Krischbaum was one of those under-recognized community figures who touches countless lives in a wonderfully positive way, spreading the good vibes of music, and helping young people find their voices and follow their dreams. Well done, faithful servant! Your place in heaven is secure.
Joanne Blum
April 19, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Krichbaum, for sharing your love and appreciation for all things musical and teaching me and many others how to find our own. You will truly be missed. I hope you and Mr. Arlen are having a heck of a jam session!!
Deepest Sympathies--
Mary (Haga) Burk
April 13, 2017
My heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your family during this difficult Time. I hope the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring you some comfort. Just knowing that there's a hope for the ones we have lost in death can be so reassuring.
April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017
Herb was our class adviser at Whetstone and, at our class parties, we gathered around while he played boogie woogie on the piano for us. Fun times. Many fond memories for the short time he taught there. Prayers for his family.
Louise Ulmer
April 11, 2017
We will miss Herb. He always was smiling and jolly. He played piano for our Crimson Cardinal Red Hat Society at Heartland. He entertained all at Heartland. You have our sympathy on your loss but remember the good times as we will too.
Jan Riddlebaugh
April 10, 2017
So sorry for your loss. Herb, always had a smile and a Hi when we ran into him and Virginia at the Y. I was one on the thousands that were in his choirs and events. We understand that the funeral was a magnificent celebration of his life. Sorry, we could not make it . Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers during this period in you life. God comfort as only He can. Ted and Barb Stamper
Ted and Barb Stamper
April 10, 2017
I wasn't a student of Mr. Krichbaum, but I can attest to the fact that he was loved by all of the kids.
You have my family's deepest sympathies. God Bless You!
Darl "Pete" Mills (Class of 61)
Darl Mills
April 6, 2017
Melanie, your dad was such a bright light, no matter what, when, where or to whom. I'm still surprised he didn't fall asleep more often while tapping his pencil for tempo. He'd chuckle when I'd rather have another voice lesson instead of piano...He was the best accompanist I ever sang with. He was a gift, with or without his musical talent. And his efforts have rippled through so many who are sharing their talent with others. Prayers for your loss and hope that sweet memories fill your thoughts.
Pam Scherer/Kratzer
April 6, 2017
Sending sympathy to Virginia and Herb's family. I know of no other man who touched so many lives in such a positive way. We will always miss his smile and Herb will be in our hearts forever. Nancy Everly & Family
April 6, 2017
Minnie Rayburn
April 5, 2017
There are not enough words to write about how much Herb Krichbaum affected our lives while we were growing up in Galion. Everywhere we turned there he was being a delightful example of what a teacher, a mentor, a friend, and a leader should be. Both of us had the wonderful experience of being President of Choir (not at the same time of course) with Mr. Krichbaum as our leader. We will always remember his beaming smile, his unique, engaging style while directing, and his wealth of experience that he seemed to share at just the right time. We will always carry his spirit with us in our hearts and our songs. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss for your family.
Lee Anne (Ritchey) and Terry Shifley
Lee Anne and Terry Shifley
April 5, 2017
I was home from college for Christmas and had been invited by Mr. Kirchbaum to play trumpet at the packed Candle light Christmas Service at the First Methodist Church in Galion, in about 1970.

I had a a short 9 note solo to bring the choir in, which I played flawlessly....except in the wrong KEY!?

The Choir tried to sing along to no avail. I was mortified!

Herb wasn't phased. He stopped the choir, calmly turned, looked at me and in a tone of voice, as if we were discussing a favorite dessert, said "OK Bob, lets try that again, this time in the key of C, just like we did in practice."

We did and it all turned out very well.

There are little things in life, and there are big things. Herb Kirchbaum was a huge thing in a lot of lives. May he rest in Peace.

Bob Dye (Hurst, TX)
Bob Dye
April 4, 2017
Mr. Krichbaum will always remain in my heart as my musical mentor and great supporter. I will always remember him scurrying down the GHS hallways with his key chain of keys and his sonorous voice as he announced the Tiger Band's half time shows.
Bless you, Herb. Thank you for believing in me.
Barbara Yeichner Repetsky
April 4, 2017
There will never be another man like Herb Krichbaum. He was a role model for so many of us: he gave of himself, he contributed time and talent to the community, he was a very active Rotarian and he went above and beyond to help anyone who needed it. Of course, he was my personal mentor, as I followed in his footsteps with the Chapel Choir at Capital University and then to a brief teaching career. He accompanied me for high school solo & ensemble contests, as well as college auditions. He and his family will always hold a special place in my heart, my mind and my soul.
Susan K Hartley-Miller
April 4, 2017
Mr. Krichbaum will always be MISTER Krichbaum to me.

My mother was in the first 'Messiah' performance in Galion, put together by Mr. K. Sadly, her musical talent was not passed on to me, so my interaction with this fine man was limited to the required Music classes in school.
But even there, he was amazing.
Glad I had the chance to come in contact with him.

So sorry for your loss, Melanie. What a fine father you had.
Jim Buskirk
Columbus, OH.
April 4, 2017
As I write this, I have so many fond memories of this man who was such a part of my life from age 9 when I took piano to all the solo and ensemble contests in High School along with all the Christmas and Spring Concerts. His sense of humor and love of puns still make me smile when I remember. To his family all my prayers are with you. Heaven has a new Choir director and it never sounded better. Rest In Peace my beloved friend.
Terry Jobe
April 4, 2017
No one who grew up in Galion in the 1960s or 70s (and 80s?) can forget Herb Krichbaum's wonderful crisp Army sergeant voice resounding over the town from the Heise Park stadium loudspeaker on a football Friday night. Heart and soul of the community.
Laura Montgomery
April 4, 2017
Wow! This Man impacted my life in many powerful ways! I was in the Senior Choir and the Senior Marching Band where he was always assisting Mr. Arlen! Then he showed up at my mom's funeral in 2003....a fellow retired teacher she was. Quite an irrepressible spirit he had! He left an indelible mark on me that will not be forgotten.
Marcia Stahl Hursh Rutter
April 3, 2017
What a wonderful gentleman, I was in Rotary Club with Herb for several years and distributed dictionaries to 3rd graders in Crestline with him for several years! Was a joy to be around! God Bless you Herb and your family!


Brenda Gosser & Family
Brenda Gosser
April 3, 2017
Melanie and the rest of Mr. Krichbaum's family, today and for along time the city of Galion mourns with you. We have lost one of our very special icons. I was one of the many lucky students that performed under his tutelage for four years of high school. So many special memories. Even more special, I get to claim him as my piano teacher. We had a love/hate relationship from week to week depending upon whether I practiced during the preceding week. I think I most tested his blood pressure at recital rehearsals. Somehow every year I pulled it off!! I thank him so much for challenging me to do more on the piano than I ever thought I could. God Bless You Herbie!! Eternal blessings to you at last. My deepest sympathy to all the family.
Kimber Seckel
April 3, 2017
So sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Krichbaum was my choir director at Galion High School, and was the one who encouraged me to go on with playing the piano. Sincerely, Madonna C. Williams, Sebring, Fl.
Madonna Williams
April 3, 2017
I am so very sorry to read about the passing of Mr. Krichbaum. I took singing lessons from him in the early 90's and loved every second of it. Sending prayers for his family.
Sheri Jarvis
April 3, 2017
Mr. K was a great person and a gifted musician. I first had the pleasure of singing for him at Galion Jr High in the "Pirates of Penzance" in 1959, and again in 1960 for an operetta about the Swiss alps (?name?) with Missy Bodkins in the lead. I lost my place during the solo part of a duet with her, and left out an entire verse and refrain, while he was conducting. He just leaned over to the pianist and calmly pointed the pianist to the place I was singing, and the audience never knew. A consummate pro in every sense. Herb was also the GHS Choir and Boys and Girls Glee Club leader until I left Galion Sr High in 1966. We had great times traveling to and singing in local and district competitions to the Ohio state-level all-star chorus and band competition until I left in 1966, and returned several times during annual Christmas holidays to join the GHS choir and bands in Handel's Messiah. He was a fine gentleman, and certainly will be missed by me and our "boomer" generation.
Bob Kump
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences