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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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George R. Krenos

Issue Date: October 31, 2019

George Robert (Bob) Krenos, 87, of Marinette, passed away Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. 

Born Dec. 18, 1931 in Sioux Falls, S.D., to George Constantine Krenos and Grace Alma Schildt, he graduated from Washington High School in 1949. In 1947 while still in high school, he enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard Unit, 147th Field Artillery Battalion, Hdqrs. Battery. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1949 to enlist in the United States Air Force upon graduation. He was a USAF Korean War veteran who served from 1949 through 1952 as a high speed Radio Operator (Morse Code) and later became an Air Traffic Controller.

He attended the University of South Dakota and graduated from the School of Business in June 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Marketing Major. He married the former Nila Eileen Anderson from Canton, S.D. on Aug. 28, 1955. In June 1956, he began a 32 year career with Sears, Roebuck, and Co. starting in Rapid City, S.D. as a management trainee. 

He then held executive retail positions at Mankato, Mn. and Janesville, Madison, Beaver Dam and Marinette. He was the store manager of the old Sears store in downtown Marinette and helped in the decision to replace that store with a new retail facility as one of the anchor stores in Pine Tree Mall. He retired in 1987 after being a retail store manager 19 of his 32 year career. The couple were snowbirds living in the Sonoran and Mohave deserts of Arizona for 26 continuous winters.

A former member of the Elks, Lions Club and Sons of Norway, he was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, served on the Church Council for many years and was a life member of the South Dakota State Historical Society for over 54 years. 

Interested in history, he had a large library of the Dakota Territory, South Dakota, the Sioux, Cheyenne and other Northern Great Plains Indians and also many WWII books and volumes of Norwegian history, including emigration of Norwegians to America. He was a life-long member of the Hadeland Lag of America, a Norwegian organization of those who have family ties to Hadeland and Jevnaker Norway. 

In retirement he spent many hours researching Norwegian geneology of his wife's ancestors. Some of his research is on file at the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the Vesterheim Genealogy Center in Madison and in libraries in Iowa, South Dakota and also in Norway. He wrote an unpublished book for his children and a copy was gifted to the Hadeland Folkemuseum in Gran, Hadeland, Norway, which was placed in their library to be used as an aid to Norwegians who might be searching for their relatives in America. 

Survivors include his wife of more than 64 years, Nila; a son, Robert (Patricia "Patty"), Las Vegas, Nv.; two daughters, Lori Krenos (Mike Urban), Marshalltown, Ia, and Wendy (Scott) Laundree, Marinette; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; five great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons.

Including his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Jeanne (Krenos) Doherty, Traverse City, Mi. and a brother, Donald (Doris Anderson) Krenos, Yankton, S.D.

Friends may call at Zion Lutheran Church in Marinette on Monday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. until time of a Memorial Service at 11 a.m., with Rev. Keith Kolstad officiating. Hansen Onion Martell Funeral Home of Marinette is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials can be made to Zion Lutheran Church or a charity of ones choice.


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