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Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 12:01 am

A life of simple distinction

HENRY KRUG III Nov. 3, 1950-Oct. 24, 2013

HENRY KRUG III
Henry Krug III was unique in many ways, but the most remarkable thing about him was the number of lives he touched while living, by his own choice, the simplest life he could. Born to a modest family, he married his high school sweetheart. Henry served in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Navy, then settled with his wife outside of Springfield to quietly raise two children. He worked as a designer of custom wheelchairs and spent his spare time with his family. Pretty simple stuff.

What I find so remarkable about Henry is the number of people who visited him at the end of his simple life at age 62 and returned to attend his funeral. The volume of lives that Henry impacted while living “off the grid” was staggering – grade school friends, Navy buddies, coworkers, countless country kids that he had taught to swim, friends of his own children, and many, many family members. Henry was buried simply at Camp Butler with military honors, but without service or visitation.

His family expected a modest attendance. What they got instead was the largest crowd the cemetery had seen in 25 years. With typical military efficiency, the staff began asking people to leave after 60 minutes, but it took nearly two hours. A man who had aspired to live a simple life had touched the lives of so many that the cemetery could not contain them. That alone speaks to the compassion, wit, kindness, courage, skill, generosity and amazing capacity for love that defined Henry Krug III. As his daughter, having been on the receiving end of those things all my life, I can honestly say that the tribute, although amazing, still could not do justice to the man of distinction that was my father. –Tisha Rooney, daughter

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