Sadness – The Loss of Dick Krajczar – “Dr. K”

SEE RECENT UPDATE AT BOTTOM

While we are not sending eNotes this week, I’m writing a note to announce the tremendous sadness that many of us are feeling at the announcement early this morning of the sudden passing of Richard T. Krajczar, longtime Executive Director of EARCOS and past school head at a number of international schools throughout the world.  Dick was 75 years old.

Dick is known to many of us in the international education community.  I enjoyed a longstanding friendship with him that stretches back to 1995 and my first EARCOS Conference as a young Vice Principal.  My most fervent memories of Dick are from my time in Shanghai, during the years where he was a partner in establishing and developing the Learning 2.0 conferences that were originally co-sponsored by ACAMIS and EARCOS along with a collaborative of schools in Shanghai and beyond.  But, I also hold fond memories of many EARCOS conferences and the sound of the bell under Dick’s hand announcing the start of each session herding administrators throughout their days together.

I count Dick as one of my best friends and I recently enjoyed his company at the AISH Oasis meeting in San Francisco and throughout the AAIE Conference just two weeks ago.  As luck would have it, Dick was the first person I encountered in the lobby of the hotel as I arrived at check-in before the buses left to the AISH retreat.  I sat at a table with him discussing diversity and tolerance at Oasis along with other stalwarts, Ellen Stern, Rick Spradling, and Dave Toze.  I count myself lucky that he also wished me well as we parted at the end of the AAIE conference and my soul was always energized whenever we spent time together, however brief.

I also had a special dinner out with Dick back in November 2017 in Shanghai when I attended the Learning2 conference, taking the reins from him as Board Chair and returning to the group that collaborated together back in 2007.  In a mall near the school, we found a small restaurant to relax in after a hectic day observing the wonderful interactions at another Learning2 conference and sharing our courses and hopes for the future.  It was like so many meals we had shared over the years, reminiscing and connecting on our common beliefs about the future, catching up on family, and checking in on various friends and where some were headed next.  At this dinner, I remember with fondness that we shared reflections on the life journey of international educators and the importance of friends and family.  While the journeys are sometimes arduous, there is always home when loved ones are close at hand – not the location, but the people.  We chuckled at this together, both knowing what life has brought us — great measures of opportunity and engagement sprinkled with the occasional challenge, distance, and isolation.

EARCOS has published a Memoriam for Dick and I’m sure more information will follow in the days ahead as the world comes to grips with this tremendous loss.  AISH followed suit with an update late today:

It is with profound sadness that we learned that Dr Dick Krajczar, Executive Director of EARCOS, passed away Feb 19 in Manila at the age of 75.

Dick developed a cough in San Francisco and was diagnosed with pneumonia when he returned to Manila. In the hospital, he had a minor heart attack and then continued to have difficulty breathing.

As many of you know, Dick and his wife Sherry planned to retire in Wyoming. He told me just two weeks ago that he was excited to use, for the first time. the bamboo fishing rod that my husband gave him 15 years ago.

Dick and Sherry have two children, Morgan and Josh, who are international educators at International School Beijing and Sri Lanka.

We will pass on information when we know more about arrangements. Dick was a true friend and the international school world is a better place because of his influence.

Deb Welch
AISH Executive Director

I, for one, will struggle with this in the days and weeks ahead, mourning the loss of a close friend and collaborator.  We can only hope that his inspiration and enduring spirit will be remembered through our continued commitment to the children and the profession he served — and that we all serve together.

Update from EARCOS:

We would like to invite everyone to two occasions to honor the memory of + Dr. Richard Krajczar.

*Saturday, February 23 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM in Chapel 5, Heritage Park, Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City,Philippines

*Wednesday, February 27 at 3:00PM a Requiem Mass will be said in the Chapel of Brent International School Manila, Brentville Subdivision, Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, Philippines.

Click here to write your message of condolences.

Note: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hug Project, c/o the EARCOS office. This organization works to alleviate child trafficking in Thailand. » click here

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5 Responses to Sadness – The Loss of Dick Krajczar – “Dr. K”

  1. Chris Akin says:

    Jon, thank you for sharing your memories of Dr. K. We all have so many fond memories of this wonderful man – this wonderful leader. Best to you …

  2. Marsha McDonough says:

    Thank you for sharing this sad news of the loss of Dick….I was stunned to read of his passing, and will pray for him, and his beloved family. My thoughts are with them as they face their shared sadness, which is a tremendous loss. I have only happy memories of his constant smiling face and his joyful greetings, wherever and whenever we met at conferences, workshops, meetings, and events around the globe and in the United States. He was always happy, upbeat, positive and caring in his personal and professional life … a true and genuine friend who will be forever remembered for his wit, charm, intellect, leadership and kindness.

  3. Louise & Michael Weber says:

    What a blessing he was to us newly-minted administrators in the 1990’s (HKIS) and early/mid 2000’s (Concordia Shanghai)! So enjoyed hosting him in our Shanghai apartment a few times too. His initial focus was always on the personal. Once we shared that information, we were off and running with the admin and/or educational focus of our meeting. Prayers abound for Sherry, Morgan and Josh.

  4. I graduated with Richard and knew him well. He was a great guy and what a beautiful life he had and gave so much to the world and education May he rest in peace Memory Eternal

  5. Bob Gaw Aramco Schools Head 1978-88 says:

    Dick and I go back almost 40 years when he became head of the school in Amman, Jordan. We always enjoyed each others company at conferences and working on Boards during those years. Remembering staying at his home when he was head at ISKL especially meaningful as I was head of ISKL from1970-78. Also his hospitality, along with Sherry, when we visited in Wyoming. EARCOS was his life and blood and he will be truly missed by all. He was a “man for all seasons” and I feel a deep loss.

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