Krejci, John Phillip, Ph.D.
June 16, 1937 - August 11, 2021
John Phillip Krejci, Ph.D., loving husband, father, grandfather, former Catholic priest, college professor, and social activist, died on August 11, 2021, in Lincoln. He was 84.
Born and raised in Omaha, NE, John leaves an impressive legacy of over 60 years of social activism. He received his undergraduate degree at Conception Seminary College (Missouri), studied at The American University of Rome for his four year master's degree in Divinity and served as a parish priest in Omaha in the 1960s. He then earned his doctorate in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and became a professor and department chair at Kearney State College (now UNK) and Nebraska Wesleyan University.
John dedicated himself to civil rights, fighting for social/institutional change. He advocated for African Americans, Native Americans (Omaha and Winnebago), prisoners, and other oppressed people. In retirement, he focused on criminal justice and prison reform. His numerous letters to the editor reflected his commitment to justice, as well as his tenacity and sharp sense of humor. John attended weekly mass and his Catholic faith shaped his entire life. He served in countless leadership, organizational and activist positions, including Nebraskans for Peace, Call to Action, the Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project and the Nebraska Chapter of the United Nations.
In June, he and his wife, Jean Krejci (Gettelfinger) a former nun, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They met at Notre Dame. John is survived by his loving wife, three children, John Mark Krejci Ph.D. and Jeanie Krejci of Lincoln; Jennifer Krejci-Manwaring M.D., son-in-law, Teddy Manwaring; and grandchildren, Merric and Morgan Manwaring of San Antonio, TX; his sister, Mary Kay Bizal, brother-in-law, Frank Bizal, of Philadelphia, PA; and nieces and nephews; David Bizal, Steve Bizal, Mike Bizal, and Kathy Holdsman.
Prior to his death, John valiantly endured a 15-year "dance with cancer." Despite health challenges, he approached life with a great sense of fun and adventure. John enjoyed ice skating, biking, and ice hockey into his 70s. Above all, he was an avid fisherman and continued to visit his favorite fishing spots up until the very end.
FUNERAL MASS Arrangements to be determined as Covid-19 precautions settle down so that family and friends may celebrate safely in the near future. Donations in his honor can be made to Nebraskans for Peace (NEBRASKANS FOR PEACE - Home). Condolences and service updates to www.aspenafercare.com
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Tribute to a life well lived published in the National Catholic Reporter