Friday, July 8, 2022

Obituary - John Arthur Kreissler

John Arthur Kreissler, 87, of Girard, KS, passed away July 05, 2022, at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. John was born June 17, 1935 to Gus and Dora Eckhoff Kreissler in Appleton City, Missouri. He was the 4th son and 6th of 7 children. 

He graduated from Appleton City High School in 1953 and enrolled in Kansas State Teachers College (PSU) in Pittsburg, Kansas that fall. John received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in January, 1965, after 7 years with Lawn Boy Power Mowers in Lamar, MO, where he installed and programmed their computer system.

John married Corene White in 1956 and they had four children: Mindy (Steve) Kuplen, Marianne (Gary) O’Nelio, Jon H., and Tom (Cara Orban) Kreissler. They later divorced. In 2003 he married Barb McClaskey and gained a step-daughter, Katie McClaskey.

In 1965, John was invited to join the Lamar, Missouri, Rotary Club, beginning what would become for him a lifelong affiliation and passion. He served as President of the Noon Rotary Club of Pittsburg in 1975-1976. During those years, the club helped restore the "Little Red School House" on the Crawford County Historical Museum grounds. John served as Sergeant-at-Arms at District Governor Ken Bateman's district conference in 1993 and as overall District Conference Chairman for District Governor Edison Kaderly in 1995. He was selected to lead a group study exchange team to Finland for four weeks in 1998. During that trip, he traveled on his own to St. Petersburg, Russia, a place that fascinated him. He returned to Russia twice more in the following years, and he coordinated visits to the United States of Russian professionals and government officials. In 2000, John was awarded the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service for his work with the United States Library of Congress-funded initiative "Rotary in Russia."

John loved Pittsburg State University athletics and supported PSU teams on all courts and fields for decades, travelling all over the Midwest and cheering on PSU student-athletes in volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, track, and, of course, football. He also accompanied Barb and nursing students on many volunteer service trips. John was a true Gorilla. He proudly served as President of the PSU Alumni Association in 1979 and continued to attend alumni events his entire life. John was not only a superfan of sports. He was an athlete. He came to Pittsburg to go to college with the prospect of playing sports after being a high school athlete in Appleton City, where he played basketball, football, and baseball. Playing sports was an important part of his life, and over the years he excelled at golf, skiing, and tennis, he coached his boys' little league baseball teams, but it was racquetball that became his passion, a sport that he played with different partners over the years from the 1970s to 2010s. He participated in the Kansas Senior Olympics for several years, earning a gold medal for winning his age group up to his 80th year. A computer programmer for most of his working life in the towns of Pittsburg, Lamar, Missouri, and Girard, John, however, was accomplished at everything he set his mind to: painting watercolor landscapes, compiling Kreissler family genealogy and history, organizing family and high school reunions, telling a story or a joke, or landscaping his homes and drawing the architectural plans for one of his homes. But it was his children and their families that he was proudest of, particularly finding enjoyment in attending their sporting events.

He is survived by his wife, Barb McClaskey; two daughters Mindy Kuplen (Steve) of Mulberry, KS and Marianne O’Nelio (Gary) of Pittsburg, KS; two sons, Jon Kreissler of Pittsburg, KS, and Tom Kreissler (Cara) of Helena, MT, a step-daughter, Katie McClaskey of Girard, KS; two sisters, Elsie Williams of Laramie, WY, and Dolores Fuelling of Lee’s Summit, MO; six grandchildren; Chet Kuplen (Alli), John O'Nelio (Tiffanie), Molly Kuplen, Alex O'Nelio, Will Kreissler, and Emory Kreissler. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Eldor Kreissler, Edward Kreissler and Harold Kreissler, and a sister Iola Rapp.

Funeral services will be Monday, July 11th, 2022, at 2:00 PM in the Brenner Mortuary. Burial will follow at Girard City Cemetery. A Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 10th, 2022 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to create the John Kreissler Scholarship at Pittsburg State University or contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Gifts may be sent to Brenner Mortuary. Gifts for the scholarship may also be mailed to the PSU Foundation, Inc., PO Box 4005, Pittsburg, KS 66762. Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, KS.

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