George Jerome Krein, 77, `role model' as a Baltimore City recreation official

August 04, 1999|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

George Jerome Krein, a retired Baltimore recreation official and a former semiprofessional hockey player, died Sunday of heart and lung disease at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. He was 77 and lived in Woodbine.

As a recreation official, he led several generations of Northwest Baltimore youngsters from the 1950s through the 1970s. He worked at Cahill Recreation Center on Clifton Avenue in Walbrook before being sent to head the Howard Park Center in 1956.

When he retired in 1975 because of arthritis, a city proclamation stated: "He formed more characters and molded more futures than you or I could count."

He was inducted into the city Recreation Hall of Fame in 1994.

"He had a boundless enthusiasm for sports," said his son, George J. Krein Jr. of Marshfield, Mass. "Many kids found him a source of solace in times of grief. He was a role model."

Mr. Krein played semiprofessional ice hockey in the 1930s for the old Baltimore Orioles team at the Sports Centre on North Avenue and at Carlin's Iceland at Park Circle. In the early 1940s, he played basketball and ice hockey for his employer's team, the aircraft manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River, where he was a parts manager.

Born in Catonsville, Mr. Krein was a graduate of Catonsville High School.

He joined the Navy during World War II and supported the landing on the island of Okinawa in the Pacific. He was a deep sea diver before he was discharged in 1945.

He worked part time for the city's Department of Recreation and Parks while majoring in physical education at the University of Maryland at College Park. He graduated in 1951.

No funeral services are planned.

He also is survived by his wife, the former Alma Martin, whom he married in 1948; and two grandchildren, Katie Krein and Christopher Krein, both of Marshfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 1777 Reisterstown Road, Suite 150, Baltimore 21207.

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