John Howard Krueckeberg
John Howard Krueckeberg
  • November 13, 1928 - August 4, 2017
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana

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JOHN HOWARD KRUECKEBERG died Friday, August 4, 2017. Born in Fort Wayne in 1928 to Ruth Vollmer Krueckeberg and Ferd Krueckeberg, he graduated from Mishawaka High School. John received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Indiana University, then earned a law degree from Valparaiso University in 1952.
While he was in law school he rekindled a relationship with a Valparaiso undergraduate student from Fort Wayne, Bonnie Pepler, who he knew in first grade at Bethlehem Lutheran School. The two were married in 1951, just before John was drafted into the army. He spent two years in Heidelberg, Germany, as an aide to the commanding officer.
During John's army years Bonnie taught school in Fort Wayne. In 1954 John moved to Fort Wayne and began practicing law, taking over a practice from Arthur Perry, Sr., and representing clients such as K&K Insurance. He also served as a deputy prosecutor under Walter Helmke and was a member of the American Trial Lawyers and the Indiana Bar associations.
John and Bonnie reared three children: Kurt P. Krueckeberg of Fort Wayne, Kelly (Lee) Johnson of Flat Rock, N.C., and Katherine (John) Falkenstern, also of Fort Wayne. His younger brother, Donald Krueckeberg of New Brunswick, N.J., died in 2006. John is survived by grandsons Britton (Jamie) Falkenstern and Mitchell (Brittany) Falkenstern and three great-grandchildren, all of Fort Wayne.
The Krueckeberg family were members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where John was chairman of the congregation, then of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He served on the board of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo during its early years and as president of that board was instrumental in bringing the African Veldt, the zoo's first major expansion, into existence. He was also a member of Kiwanis.
He particularly enjoyed outdoor family activities: golf, snow skiing, tennis and sailing. He competed in many tennis tournaments, winning the city's doubles championship and the 40-and-over singles championship. The family traveled often, enjoying cross-country driving trips and ski trips. He and Bonnie visited many countries and took several cruises.
John passed the Florida bar exam at age 50, joined the Florida bar and began practicing in Naples. They became full-time residents of that city in 1986 and members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church. John took up landscape painting during that period. In 2015 they moved back to Fort Wayne to be nearer to family and friends and joined Trinity English Lutheran Church.
Memorial Service is 3pm on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Trinity English Lutheran Church, 450 W. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also be 5-7pm on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at Hockemeyer and Miller Funeral Home, 6131 St. Joe Rd., Fort Wayne. Memorials may be made to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and to Heartland Hospice Service of Fort Wayne.