Tuesday, June 16, 2020
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Mueller-Bies Funeral Home
7050 Lake Drive, Lino Lakes
Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
St. Joseph of the Lakes Catholic Church
171 Elm St., Lino Lakes
John T. Krolak
November 6, 1992 - June 11, 2020
John was born November 6, 1992 at St John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN.
His parents Tom and Mary Jo entered into raising John 27 years ago; John was the first born of three children, Sarah Jo (now 25 years old) and Laura (now 18 years old). John was the love of our life, a bundle of energy that never seemed to stop – ever! In the early of years of his life we learned from John, from the challenges of getting a crying baby to sleep at night to trying to keep his feet on the ground (as opposed to on top of the counters and in trees). He surprised us in many ways with his maturity and growth at an early age. One example of his amazing talents came at age three when he was riding his little tiger bike. It was about a half of a block down the street before Tom took those training wheels off that little bike and John was off and pedaling to soon be going on eight mile bike rides with Tom! His daycare providers at KinderCare marveled at how much he liked to work on chores like vacuuming and taking out the trash – he seemed intent on accomplishing tasks over playing.
Into his grade school and middle school years John excelled at school, karate, little league baseball, Cub Scouts – earning top wreath sales every year that carried well into Boy Scouts. He was usually one step ahead of us and most of his classmates with his ability to figure things out mentally and physically. His energy was never ending. He thoroughly enjoyed camping and fishing with the family on many trips to Gooseberry Falls, Boundary Waters Canoe Area with Tom and Papa John, and Mille Lacs Lake. Tom fondly recalls John’s first trip to the BWCA when a bear took the food pack in the middle of the night! John figured out how the bear climbed the tree and decided he was getting the hunting knife to go get the bear! John was always looking ahead. He started saying “I want to go to college” often in middle school, we reminded him he had to get through high school first!
As high school years came John was on the honor roll each year and excelled in all his classes. He went hunting pheasants and duck with Tom and even many more camping and fishing trips with family and Boy Scouts. John was a top salesman in scouts not only selling over 200 wreaths every year, by far the most in the troop, but he was also selling candy bars at an increasing rate, getting up to 800 bars sold one year. Tom still fondly recalls John running wildly back to the truck from one customer’s house exclaiming “they want 12 caramels – I need to hurry!” We were so very proud when John earned his Eagle badge, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. John enjoyed fishing with Tom and has the 29 5/8 inch walleye he caught on Mille Lacs mounted. He later joined Tom in several walleye fishing tournaments and one time won third place at the Red Door Resort Tournament! John went ice fishing at Big Boy and Red Lake every year with Tom and the girls. John was the trip organizer and did all the loading and unloading for these trips with boundless energy. John was always helping with projects around the house as well. He helped with the new addition on our house – concrete work, roofing, insulating, staining, building the deck, landscaping – retaining walls, patios, sod, gardening, and was very adept at most anything he tried. The only thing he seemed to lack in his young life was a connection to friends and seemed to enjoy working on projects and being with family more than anything. This may lead to the next chapter in John’s life.
It’s hard to comprehend what was to follow for John at the end of his high school years. He was ready to graduate from Centennial High School in 2011 with honors and attend North Dakota State for Architecture, but John became challenged by anxiety, depression, and eventually alcohol addiction. John instead went through the first of several treatment programs. To get started in college, John attended Metro State University. Two years later in the fall of 2013 he went to North Dakota State University and was accepted into the Architecture Program. We were so proud of John’s accomplishment since he had to be the top of his class to be accepted. He showed great promise with his amazing drawings and work. John had a scare after that first year in college with a tear in the artery in the back of his neck that lead to several small strokes from which he made a full recovery. Then at the end of his 2nd year at NDSU he cut his left arm badly in a class project making a bird house out of a log and was fortunate when it eventually completely healed after surgery.
John then started to lose interest in architecture during his 3rd year at NDSU and the alcohol addiction made things even worse. He eventually started inpatient treatment in Fargo and dropped out of school. He was able to find success working at a concrete job in Fargo, but every off season he would again go back into treatment. John’s journey appeared to have changed in the summer of 2018 when he was ready to attend St. Cloud State and live in the sober dorm, but he again relapsed and instead went with his girlfriend and her two boys to Blue Earth. He had some success in Blue Earth, but eventually went back to the same treatment program in the fall of 2019. It was again starting to look good for John when he was living in a sober house in Coon Rapids, attending outpatient treatment and working at a job signing people up for medical disability over the phone and winning awards each month for top achievements. John was getting ready for class at Summit Academy in April to study the electrician trades. Then COVID -19 hit, class was cancelled and he went back to Blue Earth, and once again relapsed. The addiction seemed to always come back for John.
We are so fortunate fate had him close to us when his heart gave out on Thursday June 11th at approximately 2:00 pm. He was with his girlfriend at the time and Tom, Mary Jo, Sarah, and Laura were all there to see him after he passed away. It was at the very same hospital John was born at 27 years ago. :)
Now that John’s pain and struggles are gone, we pray for him and healing for our family.
Thank you to all of you who have been a part of our lives, a part of John’s life, and are able to support us in this very difficult time.
Due to COVID-19 there are some restrictions:
• Please bring a face mask for the funeral mass at the church (this is not necessary at the funeral home)
• Church will be limited to 62 families, but please come if you can. We will have the service videotaped as well.
• There will be no wake before Mass or lunch after Mass, but you may join in the burial ceremony at the cemetery which is adjacent to the church
Thank you to all and God Bless us in this time of sorrow.
- Tom, Mary Jo, Sarah, and Laura Krolak
Facts about John
Age 27, of Lino Lakes, Passed away on June 11, 2020.
Survived by parents, Mary Jo & Thomas; sisters, Sarah and Laura; maternal grandmother, Carol Lilyquist; paternal grandmother, Mary Krolak; many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.