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Bellville Times


Jerry Krenek, age 93, left his loved ones behind on March 16, 2010.

Jerry was born in his home in Nelsonville on Jan. 28, 1917 to Adolph and Francis Zoskoda Krenek. He worked the farm with his parents and at an early age was given an old car to fix up. This started his lifelong love of auto repair. 

In October of 1942 Jerry joined the Army Air Corps as a plane mechanic. He became a member of the 456th Bomb Group serving as mechanic and aerial gunner on a B-24 named the Purple shaft. He received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for gallantry in Action over Austria on April 2, 1944.

Despite being wounded, he manned his gun and destroyed two enemy fighters, allowing his crew to return safely. He flew thirty-four missions before being wounded again and sent home. During his service to his country he was awarded the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the European Theater of Operations Ribbon with three battle stars.

He was discharged in September 1945, with the rank of Tech Sergeant. After recovering from his wounds in San Antonio, he moved to the Industry area and started Krenek’s Garage.

He loved to drive his old cars in parades and won many awards for them. At the time of his death, he was still working with cars and tractors because he did not feel the need to retire. Whatever he was doing, he stopped work in order to watch The Price Is Right, which was his favorite TV show. He loved to travel, and attended all of the Bomb Group reunions all over the country. He last trip was in 2008 to Branson, Montana with his son Jerry Wayne.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother Alvin, brothers Leo and Jimmy, sister Margie Kudlacek, and wife Edna.

He is survived by his children, Jerry Krenek, Jr. of Freeport, Wanda Bray of Weimar, and Jerry W. Krenek of Columbus; grandchildren, Danny Krenek of Freeport, Adrian Smith of Fort Collins, Colorado, Liz Bray of Houston, Michael Krenek and Tammy Gill of Columbus; great grandchildren, Savannah, Dalton, Karen, James, Christian, Savannah, Seth, Shelby, Brittany, Brant, and Madilyn; great great granddaughter, Cheyanne; nieces, Janice, Imogene, Patsy, Linda, Susie, Cindy and Lisa; nephews, Archie, Richard, Ronnie, and Quentis; and sisters-in-law, Toni Krenek and Theresa Stark. Jerry leaves behind a very large extended family and many dear friends.

Visitation followed by funeral services was held on March 20, 2010 at Nelsonville Brethren Church with the Rev. Michael Groseclose officiating under the direction of Henneke Funeral Home of Columbus. 

Burial followed in the National Cemetery in Nelsonville. Pallbearers were Archie Duncan, Richard Kudlacek, Ronnie Kudlacek, Adrian Smith, Quentis Stark III, and James Plummer II.

In lieu of usual remembrances, his children request that donation be made to Lone Star Wildlife Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 1121, Bellville, Texas 77418.

Henneke Funeral Home of Columbus was in charge of arrangements.

Posted by Joy Neely


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