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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

William H. "Bill" Krell


 

William H. "Bill" Krell

(
This biography was written 11/15/2003 by Bill Krellís daughter Kay Krell Hutchinson, using as source material two obituaries and an editorial tribute in addition to memories. )

William H. Krell

1898-1958

William H. "Bill" Krell was an educator in Delaware County for 40 years. A native of Tamaqua, PA, he came to Chester shortly after his graduation from Penn State in 1918 and a short stint in the Army just at the end of World War I.

His first job was as a teacher of Romance languages in Chester High School. He then accepted the position of principal at Franklin Grammar School in Chester, serving there until 1934. At that time he was made supervising principal of Eddystone School District, heading the district then housed in one building, K through 12. (Both of these school buildings are now gone.) Eddystone had just established a vocational education program and it continued to develop under Krellís leadership.

In 1940, Bill Krell accepted the superintendency of Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, Media, where he served until his death of lung cancer in 1958. In addition to the administration of the campus and its students, he was deeply involved with the alumni, with four of the first graduating class still alive at the time of his death. Following a disastrous fire, an expansion program was begun at the school during his last year there, made possible by funds from the Rodman Wanamaker estate being added to the Isaiah V. Williamson endowment. 

A lifetime of community service, in addition to his professional duties, started while he was at Franklin School when he was one of the organizers of the Chester Boys Club and the American Legion Junior Baseball team. In later years, he was proud to say that he had helped two major league baseball players, Danny Murtaugh and Mickey Vernon, get started in the sport, and he was serving as president of Middletown Township Little League at the time of his death. He also was an early Boy Scout leader and was among a group of Delaware County Scout leaders who operated a camp near Elkton, Maryland, for local boys before the establishment of the Delaware County Councilís Camp Delmont.

During his active years, Mr. Krell served as commander of the Chester American Legion post, president of the Chester Rotary Club, a director of the Delaware County Red Cross chapter, a member of the Chester Committee for the Handicapped, and a member of Penn Lodge, F. & A.M., and of Christ Episcopal Church in Media. During World War II, he was a member of the Draft Board from the beginning of Selective Service until the warís end, and for several years was on the Civil Service Commission in Chester. He also was active in Civil Defense during the war years when blackouts and preparation for possible bomb attacks were an important homefront activity. 

In a Chester Times editorial at the time of his death, newspaper staff writer Fred Echelmeyer wrote the following: "As an educator, administrator, and public-minded citizen, Mr. Krell accomplished his purposes with such brisk, efficient and off-handed ease that his unusual effectiveness was often taken for granted....Williamson may be a more obvious memorial to his influence but many other institutions and movements count him among their most significant supporters."

Mrs. Krell, the former Katharine Furman Smith of Chester, died in 1986. Their daughters are Katharine Krell Hutchinson, a former Chester Times reporter who later worked in public relations positions for non-profit institutions, and Julie Krell Entwisle, retired from a teaching career in Stratford, NJ, public schools. There are six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

William H. Krell and F. Herman Fritz were both candidates for the position of Chester Superintendent of Schools when Mr. Fritz won and Mr. Krell later went to Eddystone. Some years afterwards, they shared in the purchase of a cemetery plot and now both are buried, with their wives, in adjoining graves in Lawn Croft Cemetery.

This biography was written 11/15/2003 by Bill Krellís daughter Kay Krell Hutchinson, using as source material two obituaries and an editorial tribute in addition to memories. 

[Obituary]

 

 

 

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© 2003 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 10/17/05