After courageously battling cancer for 2-1/2 years, Frank J. Krenek, Jr., 68, of Wharton, achieved the ultimate victory of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Frank was born in Wharton on Nov. 19, 1952 to Frank J. Krenek, Sr. and Georgia (Muniza) Krenek.
Frank graduated from Boling High School where he played linebacker on the football team. He then attended Wharton County Junior College where he played football as well. He obtained his Master of Architecture, Environmental Design and Construction Management from Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M, Frank was on the weight-lifting team.
Frank practiced construction management for over 40 years. As principal of Krenek Architects he provided several services including construction administration, waterproofing consulting, expert witness, and forensic building investigations.
While being an accomplished architect, Frank’s hallmark in life was undoubtedly his amazing creativity and expansive artistic talent that included music, literature, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and videography. Through his sharing of these gifts, Frank was able to bring much joy to both family and friends throughout his life.
Frank played the guitar and piano. Most of his musical skills were self-taught. He composed, performed, and produced several pieces of music – including a Mass setting. He seemed to always have one of his guitars with him and would play it at family gatherings and reunions. He shared his talent with the different parishes he was a part of over the years – St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church in Houston (where he was music minister), St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Houston, and St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in El Campo. He also played and sang with the Holy Cross Catholic Church Polka Mass Choir in East Bernard.
Frank also wrote poetry and would write prayers of healing and condolence for family and friends.
His earliest endeavor at the arts was painting – both oil and watercolor. He enjoyed doing portraits, still life and landscapes. He would often give paintings to family members as a gift. Over the years he would explore different techniques as a part of his passion to learn more about art. The latest technique he learned was Icon painting – one of the oldest forms of Christian art. Frank was a member of the El Campo Art Association where he exhibited much of his work in their art shows. In August 2020 he was the Association’s featured artist.
Frank’s most prolific art form was drawing. As a child he would draw pictures of Grandpa Muniza’s John Deere tractors, cotton pickers and other farm scenes. He was constantly sketching in pencil, pen and ink, and charcoal either as ideas for paintings or for finished works – such as a work scene of the Pipe Gang at Texas Gulf Sulphur where his father worked or the maps he made for his brothers showing the routes they travelled from the family home in Burr to Texas A&M from where they all graduated.
Frank had the uncanny ability to repurpose discarded items into both artistic and utilitarian sculptures. These items included his “Monster Amp” he made for his guitar with old auto parts and a jewelry stand made from pipe fittings.
It was apparent in his photography that Frank viewed the world through a different lens. His masterful use of composition and lighting easily evoked the mood and intent of the subject to the viewer. Seemingly normal things such as buildings and trees became art through Frank’s eyes. Frank combined his talents in music and photography to create videos. He created one such video to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Viktorin family’s journey from Czechoslovakia to Wharton County in 1905.
Frank is preceded in death by his father Frank Krenek, Sr., and his grandparents Paul and Albina Krenek and Jerry and Mary Muniza.
He is survived by his sons: Joshua and Andrew Krenek of Houston; mother Georgia (Krenek) Kincer of Burr; brothers: David and wife Debbie of Kingwood, Alan and wife Lynn of Fort Worth, and Greg and wife Melanie of Montgomery; and a number of nephews and nieces.
A Memorial Celebration of Life and reception will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Wharton in Frank’s honor at a later to be determined date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the El Campo Art Association, P.O. Box 1344, El Campo, Texas 77437 (for art scholarships) or the Holy Family Catholic Church Building Fund, 2011 Briar Lane, Wharton, Texas 77488.
Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at whartonfuneralhome.com