John Charles “J.C.” Kreeck Jr passed away at the age of 81 on December 28, 2022 in Millcreek, Utah. He was born on May 11, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri to Orel Barry and John Charles Kreeck Sr. The family moved to Ogden, Utah when he was very young. Having moved to Salt Lake City after graduation from Ogden High, he met the girl with whom he would spend 62 years. He married his sweetheart, Linda Ellen Drushal, on November 12, 1960, after proposing at the Lagoon swimming pool. From the moment they dove in together, they never looked back, sharing every important moment of life together.
J.C. loved everybody, especially his family. He had a special way of bringing people together and making everybody feel welcome and included. As a kid he was a defender of his little brothers – when Neil needed a baseball mitt, he got it, when Gary was overseas, J.C. wrote letters and was very creative with how those letters were to be read when the envelope was opened. Weekly Sunday dinners with family were important, whether in Salt Lake or Ogden, bringing members of the Kreeck family, the Drushal family, and often others, together. His devotion to his parents and brothers extended to the Drushal family as well, enjoying travel, meals and celebrations. During his parents and Linda’s mother’s older years, J.C. was a dedicated and loving assistant and caregiver.
A strong work ethic was J.C. 's hallmark and set an excellent example for his family, colleagues, and customers through his years with Coca-Cola, Sears, The Hellenic House Restaurant and in the insurance industry, where he worked with Steve Poulton Insurance for many years. Around the world (literally), J.C. became known as Linda’s husband (a moniker he embraced with pride) as they traveled for pleasure and in connection with her work with Eastern/Continental/United airlines.
J.C. didn’t just work hard serving his family and customers; he was a champion for everybody who needed help and was often found wielding a pancake spatula for outreach at Christ United Methodist Church (CUMC) and other organizations around the Salt Lake Valley. You could always find J.C. serving his community. Working with Crossroads Urban Center and Family Promise Salt Lake he served with commitment and compassion.
As J.C. and Linda raised their family, he was always involved in whatever the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids were doing. J.C. stressed the importance of education to his family, and supported them on their educational path wherever and whenever each decided was the best for them. He was often the “Head Taxi Driver.” He took his kids, grandkids, their friends, and a few strangers wherever they needed to go (in Utah or around the world). He taught Sunday School at CUMC, coached baseball, served as the President of Granite Little League Football, and ferried Girl Scouts all over Utah. He said, “I love you,” by showing up at the dance recital, school play, concert, swim meet, whatever – if it was important to his family, it was important to him. If the kids were at an event, you could expect to see J.C. with a cup of coffee greeting the parents and embracing the community in the moment. All the kids and grandkids will remember picnics and cookouts up the canyon and epic Easter egg hunts. He was a master scavenger hunt creator.
J.C lived a life of continuous service. He held many positions of leadership at the church. He was President of MYF at First United Methodist and spent a lifetime serving at CUMC, most recently as an outspoken advocate for outreach programs through the endowment and missions funds. He served and expected the church to serve too. The next time you look up at the moon, listen to his voice reminding you that we are all connected and always together when we see the same moon lighting up the night sky.
J.C. is survived by his loving wife, Linda, children: Deborah (Salvador) Mendez, Denise Kreeck, Boyd (GayLin) Kreeck, Jim (Karen) Kreeck, and Cory (DiDi) Kreeck; grandchildren: Joshua, Andrew (Bre), Sara (Jared), Emiliano (Allyson), Marisa, Ryan (Luz), Anne, Abigail, and Cindy; great-grandchildren: Norah, Jack, Kira, and Lucas; his brothers: Gary (Mary) Kreeck, and Neil (Dee) Kreeck, and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service in J.C.’s honor will be held Saturday, February 11th at noon at CUMC, 2375 East 3300 South, Salt Lake City.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in J.C.’s name to Crossroads Urban Center or Family Promise Salt Lake.