Kenneth "Ken" Krell, 79

September 01, 2010

MARCH 18, 1931-AUG. 29, 2010

Kenneth "Ken" Krell, 79, of 13005 Hawkins Circle, Hagerstown, Md., died Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010, at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Ken was born March 18, 1931, in Braddock, Pa., the son of Aaron Krell and Sadye (Handelsman) Krell, the youngest of their four children.

Following graduation from Taylor Alderdice High School in Pittsburgh, he received his BA from the University of Pittsburgh and then joined the Army for three years, the last of which was spent in Germany.


After his Army discharge, Ken moved to New York City, where he worked as a technician developing printing inks, and later as a laboratory technician at St. Luke's Hospital.

Thirteen years after receiving his BA, Ken returned to graduate school on an NIH fellowship. He earned an MS in nutrition and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University, and moved to Bethesda, Md., to work as a postdoctoral fellow at NIH.

Upon finishing his studies at NIH, Ken spent the rest of his working career at the Food and Drug Administration, first as a bench researcher and later in the field of computer science. He retired from the FDA in 2003 with the rank of captain after a 31-year career in the U.S. Public Health Service as a commissioned officer.

After his retirement, Ken spent a great deal of time volunteering his time and expertise. He developed the websites of, and served as webmaster for, the FDA Alumni Association and his synagogue, Congregation B'nai Abraham in Hagerstown. He was active in the Villas Homeowners Association, serving at various times as treasurer, board member at large and chair of the architectural review committee, member of the grounds committee, and was vice president of the association at the time of his death. He also spent many hours helping his friends and the synagogue solve their various computer problems, and was always there to help cook for synagogue brunches.

Ken was interested in many things, including music, literature, photography and technology in general. He was the subject of a recent article in The Herald-Mail about tech-savvy seniors, and said in the article that he was never afraid of learning something new. He loved to relax with a good book, troubleshoot his wife's latest computer woe or go trapshooting with his son, and he was always looking for the next intellectual challenge.

His greatest joy, however, was in following the exploits of, and spending time with, his family.

Although his first marriage to Kathleen Fovargue ended in divorce, Ken and Kathe had two sons together, who brought them both endless joy.

On Oct. 27, 1978, Ken married Elizabeth "Liz" Dirolf Jacobson. Ken and Liz had one son together whom Ken always claimed helped keep him young.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Dirolf Krell; three sons, Paul A. Krell and his wife, Mary Krell, of Manchester, N.H., David C. Krell and his wife, Laura White, of Gaithersburg, Md., and Michael W. Krell of Washington, D.C.; one granddaughter, Erin Krell of Manchester; one brother, Howard Krell and his wife, Elise Krell, of Boca Raton, Fla.; two nieces, Kimberly Rosen and her husband, Rick Rosen, of Wellington, Fla., and Carol Whalen and her husband, Forrest Whalen, of Dallas, Texas; one nephew, Peter Krell and his wife, Lynne Krell, of Dallas; one great-nephew, Oliver Rosen of Wellington; and one great-niece, Erin Whalen of Austin, Texas.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 3, at noon at Andrew K. Coffman Funeral Home, 40 E. Antietam St., Hagerstown, with Rabbi Fred M. Raskind officiating. Burial will be in the B'nai Abraham Cemetery.

Please omit flowers. Those who wish may make a donation in his name to Doctors Without Borders USA (at, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21841; or to the Handicapped Accessibility Fund at Congregation B'nai Abraham, 53 E. Baltimore St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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