Alcuin H. "Al" Krebs, a retired Baltimore public schools reading resource teacher and World War II combat Marine, died Monday of Alzheimer's disease at Brightwood assisted living in Catonsville. He was 86.
The son of a lithographer and a homemaker, Alcuin Henry Krebs, one of 10 children, was born in Baltimore and raised in West Baltimore. He later attended Catonsville High School.
"He begged his father to let him enlist in the Marine Corps when he was 17 years old," said a daughter, Nancy Krebs of Severn. "Five of his older brothers were already enlisted and serving in different branches of the armed forces during the Second World War, and he wanted to get into it as well and serve his country."
After completing training at Parris Island, S.C., Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., Mr. Krebs joined E Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Regiment of the 5th Marine Division.
He landed during the invasion of Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945, where he was a company runner. On March 10, he was wounded in the jaw by a Japanese sniper's bullet, and ended the war recovering in military hospitals.
"Like so many other veterans, he didn't talk about the war until returning to Iwo Jima in 1995," said Ms. Krebs. "When he returned from that experience, he finally began talking about what took place from the time he landed to the moment he was struck by the sniper."
Mr. Krebs, who had attained the rank of private, was discharged in 1945. He returned to Baltimore, completed high school, and earned a bachelor's degree in 1953 in business from what is now Loyola University Maryland.
Mr. Krebs worked for Travelers Insurance for many years before making a career change in 1967, when he became a reading resource teacher for Baltimore public schools. In the 1980s, he earned a master's degree in education, also from Loyola.
He taught at Morrell Park and later Westport elementary schools, from which he retired in the early 1990s.
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The longtime Arbutus and Halethorpe resident was a driving force and longtime coach as a member of the Arbutus Little League, and sponsored his own team, the Krebs Crew.
In 1985, Mr. Krebs was named High School Coach of the Year by The Baltimore Sun for his leadership of Southern High School's soccer team.
He also sponsored the Alex Open, an annual charity golf tournament inspired by his grandson Alex's autism that benefited the Gateway School and Kennedy Krieger Institute for a decade.
Mr. Krebs was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Krebs was an active communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension, 4603 Poplar Ave., Halethorpe, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Krebs is survived by his wife of 65 years, the former Mary Josephine Gibson; four sons, Neil Krebs of Oakland, Paul Krebs of Laurel, Christopher Krebs of Baltimore and Jeffrey Krebs of Escondido, Calif.; two other daughters, Suzanne Galford of Pasadena and Mary Kathryn Matejevich of Arbutus; and four grandchildren.