Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Community mourns death of the Rev. William Kren

The Rev. William Kren
Members of the Romulus community are mourning the death of a beloved and well-known minister who was named as the 33rd Romulus Person of the Year in 2018.
The Rev. Rev. William “Bill” Kren, 72, died on Friday, Sept, 6, 2019, at his home in Garden City, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Kren was born Sept. 16, 1946, to Frank and Virginia (Morey) Kren and was the oldest of seven children. He married his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth “Sue” (DePugh) Kren in 1968..
Mr. Kren was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but called Detroit home after his family moved to Michigan in the early 1950s. After graduating from Western High School in 1964, he joined the United States Army and served one tour of duty in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966; he was honorably discharged in January, 1968 and he and his wife were married the next month.

After working several years at Great Lakes Steel in Detroit, Mr. Kren devoted his life to the ministry and attended Asbury College and Ashland Seminary. For more than 35 years, he served churches in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, the most recent being the Dearborn Congregational Church in Dearborn. He also held senior administrative positions with The Evangelical Church, including a six-year stint as a District Superintendent. He retired from the ministry in December 2018. Mr. Kren and his wife moved to Romulus in 1998 when he became the minister at Community United Methodist Church. He founded and served as the first president of the Romulus Ministerial Alliance.
In addition to his church ministry, Mr. Kren was very active in the communities he served. Between 2003 and 2010, he served three terms as director of the Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce.
He helped organize the popular Community Good Friday services and the annual Romulus National Day of Prayer and organized prayer services for residents of the Senior Towers apartments.
In 2006, after eight years with Community United Methodist Church, the couple moved on but remained property owners in the city.  Mr. Kren served as the secretary for the Romulus Downtown Development Authority.
He was a member of the Rotary Club of Romulus, an 18-year member of the Romulus Mayor's Drug Task Force. He was also a volunteer with the Veterans of America, has been a participant and organizer of the Romulus/Belleville CROP Walk which raises funds for the needy and volunteered with Gleaners Community Food Pantry. Mr. Kren's involvement extended to numerous other volunteer projects in Romulus, including the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Walk, the Citywide Clean Sweep, the Pumpkin Festival Committee, the Parade of Lights and the Romulus Salvation Army Rehab Center Advisory Council.
Mr. Kren was known for his devotion to his family, his selflessness, and his sense of humor. He was a voracious reader of religious, political, and science fiction books, loved watching movies, and listening to classical music and classic rock.
Mr. Kren was nicknamed “The Sermonator” after a character in one of his all-time favorite films, The Terminator. As a die-hard sports fan, he loved University of Michigan football and Detroit Red Wings hockey.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons Derek (Janet) Kren, Jason (Lana) Kren; his daughter Maria (Brett) Doyon, and grandchildren Lauren Kren, Ashlan Celesky, and Joshua Hucul.
Funeral services took place Sept. 10 at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Taylor. Arrangements were entrusted to the Howe-Peterson Funeral Home.