James Albin Krezowski


August 11, 1935 - December 18, 2021 Age 86

Born in Minneapolis, the first child and only boy to Albin and Anamary (Millard) Krezowski, led to heaven by his trusty guardian angel on the morning of Dec 18, 2021. Jim died peacefully at The Waters on 50th with family at his side. He had been lovingly cared for there by the staff and Grace Hospice caregivers.

Jim was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he was captain of the Altar boys in his Catholic grammar school. Jim remained a faithful and good catholic.

A natural “lefty”, Jim was made to sit on his left hand by the nuns. He became ambidextrous which later confused his tennis opponents.

After moving back to Minneapolis as a teenager, he attended DeLaSalle High School and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1952 as the trip to De became too distant from the family home. Jim enrolled at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. When a chance to play football at Duluth’s UMD presented itself, he made the move to Duluth to live with his well-loved Aunt and Uncle, Rita and Jeff Johnson. Jim was the first person from Minneapolis to enroll at UMD.

The year was 1955. He became president of his college fraternity and graduated with a BA in Economics, Business, and Social Studies.

Jim met Elizabeth Ann (Sissy or Liz) Gooder the first day of class. She was a member of Newman Club and when Jim’s mother suggested to Jim, “date the cute girl with the bangs” his fate was sealed. Jim and Liz were married on September 7, 1957.

As Jerimiah wrote in the Old Testament, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.” Jim and Liz lived those words. Jim was a kind and true gentleman. Liz’s mother wrote that theirs “was a marriage made in heaven”. After working at a Duluth Bank as a teller, Jim and Liz made the move to Minneapolis where Jim joined his father as a Manufacturers Rep. Soon after, Jim was offered a position in Chicago as a salesman for a Colt and Nut company out of Port Chester, New York. Jim accepted and moved his family to Arlington Heights, Illinois. He was successful in increasing their sales by a great margin, so that within 8 years, and his experience in hand, Jim decided to head back to Minneapolis to begin his own Rep business.

By now, Jim and Liz had completed their family of five children. They moved to a lovely home on Minnehaha Parkway where Jim grew his and his father’s business. He later opened a warehouse, was able to send the children to private schools and purchase a few Mercedes. Jim was gifted with Eastern European smarts from Polish grandparents and Irish wit from his Irish side. Jim’s Polish grandfather was a master tailor. Jim enjoyed lovely clothes including a beautiful tux. His Polish grandmother spoke several languages.

As kind and trusting as Jim was, he made a few errors in judgement. He hired an ethically challenged stockbroker who “churned” away all his substantial savings and hired a manipulative, greedy, ungrateful person who turned Jim to drink for a short time by a hostile takeover of Jim’s business.

In retirement, Jim and Liz spent much of their time living in Vail, CO and having their Minnesota cabin enlarged.

Jim had 2 major back surgeries. After the third one, he contracted MRSA twice. It was a staph infection which robbed him of his stellar cognitive abilities.

Jim was a student of the Second World War, of western movies and maps. His ability to read print along with his math acuity made him a de facto and Ad Hoc engineer.

His first loves were always Liz and their children. Jim and Liz traveled the world together and enjoyed many musical, dance and arts programs. Liz often found little notes Jim wrote to her that said (Eye luv ewe).

Jim had a steel trap mind. On the board of UMD Newman Club. He was president of his fraternity, Gamma Theta Phi, President of the Burroughs school PTA, chair of the schools fundraisers, Cubmaster of Marks cub scout troop, long time member of Edina Country Club, member of Edina Rotary Board, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, member of Aitkin Rotary Club, President of the Fur, Fin and Feather hunt club, President of the Big Sandy Lake Board of Directors and on the board of a Saint Paul, Minnesota bank. Jim volunteered for all three of the Vail World Ski Championships and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Jim is survived by Liz, his grieving wife of over 64 years, sister Margaret West, only son Mark, (Kitty Cochran) of Excelsior Minnesota, and Mark’s children, Jake and Tara (Ryan Miller), great grandchildren, Noah and Liza Miller, daughters Jane (international airline captain, Gary Edwards) of Houston, Texas, daughter Kristen McGivern (Judge Steve Schaub) of Albert Lea and her children, Mark and Carson McGivern, daughter Susan (Hein deHoog) and three boys, Hendrick (Jessie), Benjamin and Bernard deHoog, and daughter Gail Hetletvedt of Edina Minnesota and her children Evelyn (engaged to Tom Delaney) Olivia and Elsa Hetletvedt.

Arrangements by Gill Brother Funeral Home, Southwest Chapel 5801 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419. Memorials to Grace hospice or donor’s choice. Visitation 4-6 PM January 6 Gill Brothers with prayers at 5:30 PM. Visitation again at 10 AM January 7, 2022 with funeral mass at 11 AM Annunciation Church, 509 West 54th Street, Minneapolis. Lunch to follow mass at Edina Country Club, 5100 Wooddale Avenue. There will be a second mass in McGregor, MN in the spring or summer. Private burial at Lakewood Cemetery.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN 612.861.6088