Dr. John M. Krager, 69, was Baltimore Co. health official

June 27, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dr. John M. Krager, deputy director of the Baltimore County Department of Health, died Sunday of a heart attack at his Ruxton residence. He was 69.

Dr. Krager joined the Health Department in 1965 as assistant health officer, director of the Bureau of Preventive Services and chief of the Division of School Health.

Since 1991 he had been deputy director of the Health Department. He was acting health officer from late 1994 -- when Dr. Margaret L. Sherrard retired as director -- until August, when Dr. Michelle A. Leverett was appointed to the position.

"John Krager's wisdom and experience in every area of public health have been invaluable in my first year as director of the Department of Health. Parents and children in Baltimore County benefit greatly from his vision and dedication," Dr. Leverett said.

Dr. Krager was described by Shirley Steel, retired coordinator of the Office of Health Services for county schools, as being "the father of school health in Baltimore County."

Said Merreen Kelly, Baltimore County administrator who worked with Dr. Krager for 20 years, "He was largely responsible for building a school health program that is so successful and so well-integrated with the Department of Education."

A specialist in the area of hyperactivity in children, Dr. Krager collaborated with Dr. Daniel J. Safer on numerous scholarly articles that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of School Health and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Baltimore native was a 1944 graduate of Loyola High School. His studies at Loyola College were interrupted by World War II service as a Navy corpsman from 1944 to 1946. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1948 from Loyola and a medical degree in 1952 from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

He completed an internship at St. Joseph Hospital in 1953. He was an assistant resident in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital from 1953 to 1955, then had a private pediatric practice until he joined the county Health Department.

His professional memberships included the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Baltimore County Medical Association, the Maryland State School Health Council and the American School Health Association.

He was an associate in the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Krager had a wide range of interests -- music, gardening, architecture, art and coin and stamp collecting. "But his greatest interest was in the children and how to keep them healthy," said a son, John Krager of Baltimore.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues in Towson, where he was a communicant.

Other survivors include his wife of 42 years, the former Doris Miller; another son, Martin Krager of Huntington Beach, Calif.; two daughters, Leslie Roche and Mary Krager, both of Baltimore; a sister, Joan Haas of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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