March 15, 1919 - July 23, 2012
Albert Charles Krulich, 93 years young, passed with ease and grace into the loving arms of the Good Lord and those who went before him. After a long and rich life he passed peacefully in his sleep on July 23, 2012. He was a resident at the Karr House Assisted Living residence in Hoquiam for the past two years.
He was born in Red Lodge, Montana, to Rudolph and Stella Krulich, Croatian immigrants, on March 15, 1919. He had two older sisters Stephie and Eve, and a younger brother Fritz. His father was a miner and the family traveled between Red Lodge, Mont.; Roslyn, Wash. and Angel’s Camp, Calif. as work allowed. They settled in the Wishkah Valley in 1925 and the land and house his father built remains in the family. At the age of 13 he found an abandoned black bear cub. He brought it home, wrestling and playing with it for the next two years until it became too large and unwieldy causing him to release it back into the wild. Other youthful pastimes were hunting and fishing. He and his brother were well known for their skills and it was considered an honor to be invited to go hunting with them. He graduated from J.M. Weatherwax High School in 1938.
Al married Anne Zoratich in June 1942 having met at the Harborena Skating Rink which was a favorite hang out of the time; they remained constant companions for 68 years until her passing in 2010. They raised 4 devoted children, 2 sons (Michael and Dennis) and 2 daughters (Barbara and Deborah). The family enjoyed numerous summer camping trips providing many happy memories and a deep love and appreciation of the natural world. Albert was an avid beachcomber and clam digger, taking the family on almost weekly trips to either the North or South Beaches. His agate collection is extensive with many rare finds.
Albert was very proud of his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He served in Greenland as an airplane and engine mechanic. He and Anne spoke fondly of their journey across the U.S. to New England for his basic training. He said that they seriously considered settling there but it was too far from their families in Grays Harbor. Al earned the Sharpshooter badge, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal World War II, American Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
He was employed at Harbor Plywood for forty-four years starting after graduating high school. He most enjoyed being a “boomman” on “the pond” where he made rafts of logs, towing them via tugboat to various mills on the Chehalis River. He took early retirement at age 62 which allowed him to pursue one of his passions: poker and pan. He received his dealer license and dealt cards at Mac’s in downtown Aberdeen for nearly 20 years. His dry and unexpected sense of humor along with a true poker face afforded him a lucrative second career as a player. He was also a fifty-year plus member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Arie 24 and the International Woodworkers of America.
Albert dearly loved his family and friends, as they did him. He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. His family learned the meaning of unconditional love from his fine example. Children loved him and adopted him as their grandpa. He is survived by his sons, Mike (and wife Janet) and Dennis Krulich; daughter, Barbara Krulich; grandsons, Jeff, Rob and Matt Krulich and Peter Maki; step-grandson, Jesse Price; and great-grandchildren, Ian, Joshua, Isabela, Kevin, Madison and Mackenzie Krulich.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph and Stella (Starkavich) Krulich; siblings, Evangelina Krulich Hallet, Stephanie Krulich Anderson and Frederick “Fritz” Krulich; youngest daughter, Deborah Krulich Streifel and most recently his loving wife, Anne.
The entire family is grateful to the staff at Karr House and Harbors Home Health and Hospice who provided quality care.
A celebration of Albert’s gentle, caring and understated life will be observed in the following ways: a Vigil Service, 5:00 p.m., on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at Whiteside Family Mortuary, Aberdeen and a Committal Service with Military Honors at the graveside, at 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, August 9, 2012, at Fern Hill Cemetery. A dinner reception will follow immediately at the St. Mary’s Parish Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to the St. Mary’s Spirit Fund; 518 North H Street; Aberdeen, WA 98520-4012. This fund was established in honor of his daughter Debbie Krulich Streifel in 1992 and provides scholarships and other support for the students at St. Mary’s Catholic School.
Please visit and sign the online tribute to Albert at www.whitesidefamilymortuaries.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Whiteside Family Mortuary in Elma.