Stunned to learn that a close friend, David Krantz, died last month. Any Facebook friends around here from my Lake Forest College days might remember him. Dave was my undergrad psychology professor/adviser/mentor at Lake Forest College, and our shared love/obsession with music, among other things, made us lifelong friends. His wife, Claire Wolf Krantz, was an internationally-respected artist and writer (they used his sabbaticals to travel the world), but she has been locked in Alzheimer’s/dementia for a while now, and lives in their south loop place with her caretaker, apparently oblivious to Dave’s passing. When I was in college (1977-1981), he was the most feared person in the Psych department, maybe the whole damn school. He was a tough grader and a demanding, no-nonsense prof whose class you had to get through with a certain grade to by a Psych major, and it was the end of the road for those expecting it to be an “easy” major (and except for him, it probably was). I was warned on my first day by upperclassmen to try to take his required course when he was on sabbatical and somebody else teaching it would be much much much easier. I actually found his classes to be some of the best I took, and I was able to combine music with the psych research methodologies at the core of his curriculum thanks to our shared passions. He was a true curmudgeon, with a hint of the misanthrope, which probably explains why he had such a tiny circle of friends in his retirement. I’m not sure when (it was while he was still alive), but the college created the “David Krantz Prize Fund to honor great thinking,” a slightly quirky title that fits him. I’ll put a link to it in the comments. I’ll also put a link to Claire’s (obviously outdated) website – that, his obituary (at least for the moment), and the Prize Fund seem to be the grand totality of Dave’s web footprint. But he was funny, smart as hell, and truly warm and caring beneath the gravel. Sorry to ramble, but calling over to find out he died last month has been jarring. It was pancreatic cancer, two weeks from diagnosis to death.
I’ll miss him.
David Krantz, date unknown
Photo taken from Lake Forest College website
Dr. David Krantz, age 78, beloved husband of Claire Wolf Krantz, nee Kaplan for 40 adventurous years; cherished father of Debby Wolf -Blanks, Rachel Krantz, Rachel Wolf and Richard Wolf; proud and loving grandfather of Samantha, Jonathan, Max, Matthew, Oliver, Lucy and Anna. Chapel service Thursday 12:15 PM at Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, 1700 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. Interment Shalom Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University CNADC, Attn-Kevin Connolly, 320 E. Superior Searle 11-453 Chicago, Illinois 60611. For information and to leave condolences (847) 255-3520 or www.shalom2.com
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 17, 2016
March 18, 2016