John Krizan, Jr., 65, died Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, at his Anaconda, Mont., residence of lung and heart failure.
John (Johnny Joe to his friends and family) was born to John and Alice (Bubash) Krizan on July 17, 1947.
He attended St. Peter’s Grade School, Anaconda Central High School, and graduated from Anaconda High School in 1966.
He loved electronics and was first introduced to them through Heath Kits at Christmas. He could put them together faster than our parents could buy them. He received a degree in electronics and was an adept and enthusiastic self teacher of many things. He taught himself about computers long before they became user friendly, even building his own computer. And more recently he installed a weather station to monitor the weather via rain and temperature gauges in his backyard.
While in high school, he was a local DJ at KANA playing to the country western music crowd, he had an exceptional radio voice and was tremendously popular. He was always proud of the moment he interviewed an up-and-coming country western music singer, Charley Pride.
He enjoyed being an amateur ham radio operator with the call letters WA7KST. He spent hours at night into the predawn mornings contacting people all over the world. They would exchange information and in return would send postcards, it was so much fun to read what people wrote him you almost felt like he had been to all of those places.
After high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on July 5, 1966, he was stationed in Thailand where he served honorably as a fire control specialist maintaining the radar and missile control systems of the Phantom 4 Jet Fighters that were supporting the Vietnam War efforts. He brought back souvenirs of his stint that included custom-made cowboy boots for his siblings and portraits of them (which still hang in his living room). He taught himself to cook Thai food and treated his family to many wonderful dishes.
Never afraid to try something new, upon returning to the states he worked for the Anaconda Company as a smelter process control technician for three years.
He then moved to Gillette to work at Collins Communications installing and repairing radios. He moved on from there to the Wyodak Power Plant of Pacific Power and Light as an engineering technician for 19 years.
After that he tried his hand at Internet merchandising when the Internet was evolving, as well as owning and operating his own digital scanning and documentation control firm. He took to the road as a cross-country semi-truck driver and had many tales to tell. Following this, he returned to Anaconda to help his family by becoming the primary caregiver for his mother during her last few years of life.
He enjoyed many hobbies and varied interests in his life, which many of us may recall of his racing and crashing snowmobiles at the Elk Park winter raceway; with his own horses enjoyed taking his two sons on back-country horse camping trips; he enjoyed hunting and loved making venison kielbasa with friends.
His most favorite and recently missed hobby was flying his Piper Super Cub airplane. During a recent visit with his younger sister, he shared one of his adventures where he took his father on a plane ride over Georgetown Lake, his dad climbed out of the plane and held on to the wing as he took a movie of one of his friend’s homes (John prayed his dad didn’t fall into the lake). No, mom never heard about that one.
He had a dream of building a cabin at Georgetown Lake, which he proudly accomplished along with his family to enjoy many memorable moments with his parents, siblings, and in time his wife and sons.
He loved the outdoors, and like his father before him had a great respect for the wilderness and all it had to offer in hunting, fishing and camping. He shared appreciation and exciting experiences with his two sons, Nick and Andy by teaching them to ride horses, cross country ski, and of course to hunt and fish.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John J. Sr. and Alice (Bubash) Krizan and half-sister, Valerie (Krizan) Kleman.
He is survived by his sons, Nicholas and Andrew Krizan, both of Gillette; their mother, Peggy Krizan of Gillette; a grandson, Kolin Krizan; a brother, Bob Krizan of Palm Springs, Calif.; sister and brother-in-law, Sharon (Krizan) and Jeff Pfister of Rio Rancho, N.M.; brother and sister-in-law, Larry and Jayne (Skakles) Krizan of Wise River, Mont.; nephews, Robert Jr. Krizan stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Italy, Weston Krizan of Anaconda and Rick and David Kleman of Bellingham, Wash.
Please join his family for a memorial service and celebration of his life Friday, Sept. 7 beginning with a graveside military service at 11 a.m. at Mount Olivet Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the VFW Post 1876, 500 E. 4th Street, Anaconda. If you have questions please call Nick at 307-689-4015.
Memorials may be made to Our Lady of the Rockies in Butte, Mont., or a youth charity of the donor’s choice.
A great man, forever preserved in the minds of those who knew and loved him, as an excellent father, humble yet proud, gracefully tactless, honest to a fault, and as compassionate as any man that has ever lived. He will be loved, missed, and never forgotten. Nick and Andy Krizan.