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John Walter Krewson, 100, known as "Jack" to family, friends, and acquaintances, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, decided it was time to move on in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 7, 2018. He was surrounded in his apartment by care and love at The Alexander Guest House in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Jack was born in Augusta, GA to John Walter Krewson and Louise Livingston Krewson March 7, 1918. Jack was not yet a teenager when the Great Depression officially began. Early on the family lived at "Pendleton Camp". In Augusta, Jack strolled across wood and street to get where he needed to be, visiting family, friend, or school. In his later years, he sometimes mentioned coming up with ideas and philosophies while strolling through "King's Woods". At a young age, Jack found a passion for the sciences, and became familiar with using and fixing radio instruments.
His jobs before joining the military reflected his interests and the value of his physical strength. Some of his jobs in Augusta included working at J.B. White & Co as a package wrapper, J P King Milling Co as a cotton mill laborer, and radio stations WGAC and WRDW as a part time radio engineer. Starting in 1937, he worked for Western Electric in Charleston, Orlando, Charlotte, and Birmingham.
Previous to and for much if not all of the time he spent in the military, Jack held a Radio Telephone Operator License First Class, and a class "C" and then "A" radio license.
Jack began his military service in the Marines (Navy). He began serving in the United States Army in 1938. He was a member of the 41st Coast Artillery at Fort Kamehameha in Honolulu, Hawaii. At Hickam Field, he worked with the 26th Bombardment Squadron as a radio operator and mechanic. In Oct, 1941, he was discharged as a private with excellent character by reason of Expiration of Term of Service.
After working for Dass Aero Schools, Inc. in Augusta from November 1941 until June 1942, repairing radio equipment and working as a control tower operator, he entered the Army of the United States Army Air Forces. He served as an Aviation Cadet until the mid 40's. While in the military, he met Winifred, known to most as "Wini", while attending officer candidate's school. They married and started their family, which would eventually total four sons. Their first son was born September, 1945. Jack was honorably discharged while stationed at the 737th AAF Base Unity on December 25, 1945. He then worked for the Civil Services Armed Forces Radio Service, working as a Control Room Engineer SP-2 and Engineering Aide (Radios) SP-6.
Jack went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of Georgia, helped by the GI Bill. He and his family lived in veteran apartments throughout the late 40's and early 50's. An important job for Jack was his time at Athens Lumber Co., working there from 1948 until 1950. He was a cabinet maker, learning woodworking skills that he would use in construction and the arts for the rest of this life. In 1950, he worked in the Electronics and X-Ray division for Westinghouse Electric Co. in Baltimore, MD. The family didn't like the large metropolitan area, so they moved on after six months, and Jack began working for the TVA Lab in Norris, Tennessee. The TV Jack received from Westinghouse-a rarity in the area-was very popular with the family and visitors to their home. People would come over to watch the test pattern WNOX started broadcasting before they had any real shows. In the mid 50's, Jack and Wini settled into a house in Norris. In 1955, Jack began working for the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee as an Associate Engineer for the Instrument Department. Jack's final honorable discharge was from the Air Force Reserve as a 1st Lt. in August, 1959.
During his time in Norris, Jack found joy in farming the land of their working farm. He would get up before work to take care of the animals and pick his work back up when returning home from his day job. The farm was complete, filled with goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, a couple of cows, and dogs as companions and helpers. Apple, pear, and cherry trees graced their land, along with a grape arbor, plum trees, walnut trees, a potato patch, and a large vegetable garden containing an assortment of vegetables-if you could grow it and eat it, Jack and family planted it. On the farm he used his skill with wood to reclaim wood from a rambling farmhouse and build a new barn with a loft the boys enjoyed. His military ways and booming voice found their way into running the farm-his boys helped work the farm at his insistence.
Later in life while living in Oak Ridge on his own, involved in the art community, Jack met and eventually married Joanne. They bought an old farm house in Roane County and welcomed their only son in 1974. Jack worked the land, relying on his abilities and a Gravely tractor-needed because he didn't have the strength of his sons to help run the farm. Joanne was a potter, and Jack applied his creative woodworking abilities to make frames for her tiles. He built a two story pottery studio for her. They were constantly traveling around the area to find old lumber, piling it in lengthwise in an old VW bus.
Jack finished out his official working career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Instrumentation and Controls Division, retiring after twenty four years of service on December 31, 1979.
Some years later, Jack and family built a house on the lake in Roane County, where they lived for several years before moving to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In Oak Ridge, Jack pursued his interests. He attended services and lectures at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist church, became involved in book clubs, Tai Chi, and the Buddhist temple. Demonstrating patience, he supported his son's desire to play drums and host band practices in their basement.
They lived in the same house until Joanne died on April 21, 2017. Upon her death, Jack moved into assisted living at the Alexander Guest House in Oak Ridge.
Throughout his life, Jack pursued many interests. Known for great strength, conversation, and quick wit, a few of his main interests were woodworking and the study of science and religion. Despite a heart attack many years ago and two bouts of cancer, Jack lived a full, long life and demonstrated many of the traits that defined him up until his last hours. Just days before his death, he was still able to visit his favorite haunt, Panera Bread, appreciate his son Eric's woodworking prowess, and his grip was strong for anyone that wanted to hold his hand. He sometimes griped that his mind was "going", but then might immediately launch into conversations about some kind of idea he had, or start talking about any of his sons John Robert, Eric, Joe, Tom, or John Walden.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the religious, medical and assisted living professionals that made it possible for Jack to live a long and independent life. Some of those include the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, Church Street United Methodist Church, the University of Tennessee Medical Center, the Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center, Summit Medical Group, East Tennessee Personal Care Service and their saint of a caregiver that helped Joanne and Jack, the wonderful staff and residents at the Alexander Guest House in Oak Ridge, and Amedisys. To all the friends and family that visited, helped, asked how things were going, and leant any assist, thought, or prayer, we thank you. Thanks also to Martin Funeral home for their comfort and professionalism.
Jack was preceded in death by his five siblings: Luther, James "Jim", Louise, Lawrence, and Anne, his wife, Joanne Krewson, and his first wife, Winifred Krewson, Rusty Krewson, son of Jim, and Butler "Norman" Kelly, son of Louise.
Jack is survived by his son John Robert Krewson and wife Cynthia, and their daughters Hali and Kira, son Eric Scott Krewson and his son James, father of Teagan, son Joel Richard Krewson, son Thomas Alan Krewson, and son John Walden Krewson and his wife Nicole, stepsons David Kuykendall and wife, Lisa, Joe Kuykendall and wife, Paula, and step grandson Daniel Kuykendall and wife, Donna, and step grandson Louis Kuykendall and wife, Ashley, and step grandchildren Olivia, Dustin, Amanda, Benjamin, and Hailey. Related to his siblings, Jack is survived by nieces Janie and Julia, daughters of Luther and Martha, Gayle and Rick, daughter and son of Jim Krewson, Harriet Anne, daughter of Louise, Kathy and Jan, daughters of Lawrence, and Beverly and Brian, daughter and son of Anne.
Too many to list are his other relatives, both deceased and living, in Augusta, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and other locales.
A celebration of life will be held at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church (ORUUC) Saturday, July 14th, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow. Flowers will be accepted. The family asks that those who wish donate in lieu of or in addition to flowers consider ORUUC, a veterans group, or a cause dear to your heart.