Dr. John Joseph Krejci, a retired general surgeon who helped plan St. Joseph Medical Center's move to Towson, died at that hospital Monday after suffering an aneurysm. He was 89 and lived in Stoneleigh.
Born on Milton Avenue, he attended St. Michael the Archangel School. In 1936, in a citywide oratorical contest on communism, he won a half-scholarship to Loyola High School, from which he graduated in 1941. He also played varsity ice hockey and tennis. While at his Loyola High senior prom, he met his future wife, Madelyn V. Krespach.
"Because his father was a tailor, he was always voted best-dressed in his high school class," said a daughter, Janet Krejci of Baltimore.
In 1941, the Advertising Club of Baltimore gave him a scholarship to what is now Loyola University Maryland. He played varsity tennis and was elected to the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society. He earned a degree in philosophy during an accelerated wartime program.
In 1947, after receiving another scholarship, he graduated from the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He then began his lengthy association with the old St. Joseph Hospital, located in 19th-century buildings on Caroline Street in East Baltimore.
Dr. Krejci volunteered for the Korean War and served in the Army Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954. He was assigned to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit. In 1954, he was chief of surgery in an Army hospital in Sendai, Japan, where he lived with his wife and eldest daughter. He left medical service in 1954 as a captain.
Dr. Krejci was a general surgeon in Baltimore from 1954 until he retired in 1986. He wrote and published scientific articles on surgery.
He was on staffs at Bon Secours Hospital, Church Home and Hospital, and St. Joseph Hospital. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was a member of a three-physician committee, with Drs. Otto C. Brantigan and Harry J. Connolly, that established the first laypersons' board at St. Joseph Hospital, leading to the development of St. Joseph Medical Center at its present Towson location.
In a 1956 article in The Baltimore Sun, he told a reporter that the hospital was working to overcome antiquated conditions after its certificate had been suspended by the state because of fire and safety conditions.
He also served as company physician for Waverly Press/Williams & Wilkins from 1969 to 1986.
Family members said he was an enthusiastic reader. "He had a boundless intellectual curiosity," his daughter said. "He enjoyed The New York Times crossword, reference books, The Economist magazine, and watching 'Jeopardy.'"
She said he was interested in investing, and he was always happy to advise family and friends on stocks and on medical matters. He endorsed the benefits of good posture, she said.
Dr. Krejci had a lifelong love of sports and learned to ski at 49. He took up golfing at age 41 and was proud of his two holes-in-one at Clifton Park.
In recent years, he became a financial supporter of The Smile Train, a charity providing cleft palate surgery to those in need, and the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Southeast Baltimore.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road in Rodgers Forge.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 64 years; three other daughters, Carol Steinitz of Boulder, Colo., Kate Rigatuso of Sarasota, Fla., and Joyce Michael of Owings Mills; and three grandchildren.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun