Thank For the Wonderful Days, Jack
Every night, just before bed, he’d thank his bride of 70 years for giving him another wonderful day on Earth.
That was the sweet-hearted nature of Jack Krieger, my family’s next-door neighbor for more than 30 years.
I first met him as a very young boy, shortly after my growing family moved to our brand new suburban house in 1964.
As I grew up, I knew him as the dad of five children, a good neighbor and an usher at our church.
Jack and his wife, Mary, would become lifelong friends with my parents, but I didn’t know the full story of his life until last week.
He was born in 1927, the youngest of four sons, to a homemaker mother and an accountant father.
Baby Jack’s future looked promising — until the economy collapsed and the Great Depression hit his family hard.
His father lost his accounting job at the now defunct Pittsburgh Stock Exchange, then the house, and then the family had to separate and move in with relatives. It took years of struggle before his family was reunited in its own home.
In 1939, when Jack turned 12, the nun who taught his seventh grade class at St. Canice elementary school changed his life when her seating arrangements paired each boy and girl in her class from the best students on down.
Jack was the second smartest boy in his class, so he was seated next to Mary Schertzinger, the second smartest girl.