|Rockport, MA — John Mark Krenn, age 88, died at home on Aug. 13, 2013. He was born in Atlantic City, N.J., October 14, 1924, to the late Mathias and Anita (Mason) Krenn. A veteran of WWII, he enlisted in the Coast Guard in October, 1942, and initially served on small boats in Newport, R.I., and Rockland, Maine. Subsequently he served on the USCG Cutter ARLUK WYP 167 (110 foot converted Boston trawler “Atlantic”) on the Greenland Patrol. After training as an Electrician’s Mate at Boston’s Franklin Technical Institute he served on the transport GEN’L LEONARD WOOD (APA12) in the Pacific Theater until he was discharged in March 1946.After his service, he used his GI Bill benefits to finish high school at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Veteran’s High School program. Later he received his B.S. Ed. from Glassboro (N.J.) State Teacher’s College (now Rowan U.), followed by a year of graduate study at the University of Michigan. In 1951 he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Phyllis (Raymond) Krenn of Elmhurst, Ill., whom he met at a Univ. of Michigan graduate school dance. They were married in Elmhurst on Groundhog Day 1951. He is also survived by three daughters, Jaime Krenn, of Georgetown, Mass., Kathryn Krenn of Annandale, Va., Susan Krenn of Towson, Md.; and son, Christopher Krenn of Exeter, R.I., and Rockport.
After graduate school he joined Sylvania Electric Products Industrial/Commercial Lighting Division in Salem, and over the years, worked for the Fluorescent Fixture division in Wheeling, W.Va., and the Distribution Service Division in Teterboro, N.J. With the advent of commercial computers and improved communications, he returned to the New England headquarters where he designed order entry/inventory control systems and forecasting systems, retiring as Manager of Marketing Information Services for the I/C division in 1985.
The family moved to their Rockport home on Tregony Bow in 1962, and also owned and operated the Beaches Inn at the Cape Hedge Beach end of South Street from 1965 through 1971 while John was still employed by Sylvania.
In the 1960s he was appointed and later elected to the Rockport Planning Board where he served for over five years as Chairman. While Chairman he was responsible for the complete reorganization of the existing Zoning Bylaw for a more logical succession. Later, he served for two non-contiguous extended terms on the Board of Appeals. He was an avid participant in Town Meeting Government and over the years brought many Zoning changes and improvements in the Town Meeting Rules of Order. He was recognized in the 2008 Fall meeting by being named Moderator, pro tem, for a complex property purchase article.
At the 2011 Annual Town Meeting, State Senator Bruce Tarr presented him with the State Senate Official Citation for 33 years of dedicated service to the community.
He was an active member of the Thacher Island Association and for several years served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Thacher Island Town Committee and an operator of the Thacher Island launch.
As a member of the Rights of Way Committee, John founded the adjunct support organization, “Friends of the Rockport Rights of Way” (FORROW) to involve more volunteers in the use, maintenance, and documentation of the Town controlled rights of way. In 2005, with funding from the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Management, John, Phyllis, and former resident, Suel Shannon, wrote and published the Rockport Guide to Public Paths and Town Landings, a pocket map compendium of Rockport’s Coastal R.O.W.’s. John also designed the circle and cross logo used to identify accessible town coastal ways.
While serving on the Granite Pier Committee, he instituted the Honor System for collecting launching ramp fees when the pier was unattended. Due to his efforts, the Town Transfer Station winter “Dead Boat” and summer “Dead Trailer Storage” was established and is now managed by the G. P. Committee, providing more launching space at the Pier and revenue for the Town. He also served on many ad hoc and Town Meeting Committees and was recognized by the 2012 Annual Town Meeting and the Massachusetts State Senate with a “Resolution of Appreciation” for his 34 years of service to the Town. Although not a native Rockporter, he often described himself as a “well entrenched carpetbagger.”
John was a longtime sailing member of the Sandy Bay Y.C. and had served on the Board of Governors. He had an irrepressible sense of humor. In the 1980s, in a series of “Letters to the Editor,” reacting to the frequently quixotic waterfront reporting of the Gloucester Daily Times, he became the Founder and President of the “Society to Prevent Every Damn Thing That Floats Bein’ Called a Dory or Dinghy” (S.T.P.E.D.T.T.F.B.C.A.D.O.D. for short).
In addition to his children, he is survived by grandchildren, Christopher and Alex Pinto of Georgetown, Mass., James Nass of Portsmouth, R.I., Nicholaus KrennHrubec of Annandale, Va., Keris Raisanen of Baltimore, Md., Nhu Thy KrennHrubec of South Riding, Va., and Liza and Julianna Miller of Towson, Md.; as well as nieces, Stephanie Krenn of Portsmouth, N.H., Tamara Krenn of Epsom, N.H., Anita Sayers of Keene, N.Y.; and nephew, David Krenn of Pacifica, Calif.
ARRANGEMENTS: In keeping with John’s wishes, there will be no funeral services. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Compassion & Choices, P.O. Box 101810, Denver, CO 80250; Friends of the Rockport Library, P.O. Box 31, Rockport, MA 01966 or Thacher Island Association, P.O. Box 73, Rockport, MA 01966.
Arrangements are by Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main St., Rockport. Online condolences may be given at www.burgessandmackey.com.