John Penn Krause '54

When I saw John Krause’s name under recently reported deaths in Amherst, my thoughts immediately drifted back to a pledge hike we’d had in the spring of 1951.  Some will recall that Amherst had stepped up the fraternity process in the face of the looming threat of Korea.  The kindly brothers of DKE dropped us off somewhere east of Quabbin Reservoir.  As we began to straggle back to Amherst town, Krause took me by the arm and said, “Let’s enjoy this!  How often do we see the dawn come up?”  So, as the others marched grimly along, we dawdled and listened to the birdsong that summoned the light up from the rim of the world.  We got a ride in a Hudson—I remember stepping down—and waved to our mates along the road.  John and I returned in time to join the milkpunch party just beginning at Psi U that Sunday morning.  The rest of the delegation got back finally, cranky and exhausted, and joined the party.

When President Cole was informed of the outbreak occurring on the Psi U lawn, he summoned his driver and drove past, heading west.  I recall his grave face peering out at the shenanigans.  He turned around, headed east, and passed the raucous lawn once more.  Whether it was what he saw from the left window or the right—or both—poor Psi U was put on social probation.  And it was not their fault!  

In spite of the disaster which that morning brought to our friends at Psi U, I have always been grateful to John Krause for showing me an unconventional but enjoyable way to deal with the inconveniences that life can toss in one’s way.

John marched to the beat of his own drummer at Amherst—that is to put it mildly—but he was my friend and I was not happy when he left after only two years.  He never came back, in spite of my efforts over the years to get him to Reunions.  

Born in St. Louis in 1931, John came to Amherst from Burroughs.  He started as a lineman on the Amherst varsity football team during his sophomore year.  He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1955 and worked in that city for the next twenty-five years.  He moved to New York, met his wife Marie Defrancis, and became chairman of E. A. Moos in 1999.  Marie died in 2005.  John died of a heart attack on May 20, 2006.  He leaves a brother, Lynn Krause ’50, two sons, Penn and Rodney, a daughter, Elizabeth “Beppy” McGrath, and seven grandchildren.

The Class of 1954 extends its sympathy to John’s family.

—Herb Coursen ’54