Former LaPorte Mayor Carl Krentz made being kind a top priority but he was no pushover at City Hall or in his business dealings across the globe.
Funeral services are scheduled Wednesday for Krentz, who died Friday at 84.
“His motto was to be good and kind and considerate. I'm fortunate I was able to be witness to that on many occasions,” said Mark Krentz, his son.
Krentz was mayor from 1996 to 1999.
He also was former president of Thanhardt-Burger Corp., a company he began working at part-time in 1951 for his godfather, Walter Burger.
Krentz started out doing low-level jobs like sweeping floors then advanced in sales. He became president of the company in the late 1960s.
The LaPorte-based firm still produces high-quality handmade picture frames and operates a showroom that makes available fine pieces of art ranging from paintings to sculptures.
He often traveled to Europe and other countries seeking highest quality pieces of art while people from various parts of the globe came to LaPorte for artwork or upscale picture frames made by the firm.
Krentz also made trips to company showrooms across the nation in places like Grand Rapids, Dallas, New York City and Los Angeles.
“Carl had the connections all over the world where he could get exactly the type of painting or sculpture that a person wanted for their home or office,” said Leigh Morris, who was mayor from 2004 to 2007.
Krentz also was a former chairman of the board at LaPorte Hospital, where Morris was president and chief executive officer for more than 20 years.
“Carl Krentz was a gentleman's gentleman. But he was also a very effective executive and remarkable community leader,” said Morris.
Until a few years ago, Krentz remained active with Thanhardt-Burger Corp., now owned by sons, Mark and Randy.
He was married for 61 years to his wife, Viola, who survives. They had known each other since first grade and in high school became sweethearts.
“He made a significant difference in this community and this region,” said Morris.
A celebration of life service is scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bethany Lutheran Church.