Richard Krajcovic, age 93, formerly of Breese, Illinois passed away on Thursday, August 19, 2021. He has been residing in St. Charles, MO, with his daughter for the past 3 years. Richard was born in St. Louis, MO, on September 22, 1927 to John and Katherine Krajcovic (nee Solovic) formerly from Lubina, Slovakia. Mr. Krajcovic was a High School Band Director, and later American History, at Breese Central Community High School for 38 years. After retirement, he taught music for another ten years at All Saints Academy in Breese, IL and gave private piano lessons in which he served the community for a total of 50 years of teaching. His parents owned a grocery store in the Soulard area of St. Louis, and at the age of 8 he began his musical training by taking accordion lessons. After high school Richard was drafted into the army and sent to Osaka, Japan. Since it was 1946 post war, officers were allowed to bring their wives to the base. Richard was recruited to arrange and perform dance band music for the officer’s club. When he was discharged from the Army, he went to Ludwig School of Music in St. Louis on the GI Bill. There, he met Myron Floren and Mel Bay who became big names in the music profession. He performed in small trios and bands in the St. Louis area. In 1951 the Superintendent of Breese High School was waiting for Richard on his front porch and offered him a job as High School Band Director. A few years later, Richard met his future wife, Sharon West, when she became the High School Secretary. They were married on December 23, 1961 and settled in Breese, IL. Their daughter, Vicki, was born in October 1962. Richard taught briefly at McKendree College and later earned his Master’s Degree at Washington University School of Music in 1969. During his free time, Richard performed in small trios and bands in the Clinton County area with bands called the Mellow Tones, Sweet & Simple Ragtime Band, and the Happy Hats. He enjoyed being on several bowling teams with his co-workers and playing golf with his friends. His favorite hobby was building WWII model airplanes. He loved his family pets and enjoyed many family vacations across the USA & Canada. Richard is survived by his daughter, Vicki (Krajcovic) Vaughn and her husband, Chase Vaughn of St. Charles, MO. He is also survived by his sister, Lydia Stepanovic, age 98, and nephew Paul Stepanovic, Lisa Stepanovic, and their daughter, Miya Stepanovic. Other surviving family members include brother in-law Charles West of Centralia, IL, nephew Charles West of DE, and niece Denise Summers and her daughter, Hana Summers of IL. He will be dearly missed by many neighbors, friends, and family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon (West) Krajcovic, and his nieces Dana West of IL and Sandy (Stepanovic) Itagliata of MO.
Memorial Contributions can be made to Washington University School of Music or the Clinton County Humane Society of Breese, IL.
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