Milan “Mile” Krpan, 76, of DeKalb, IL, died Friday October 9, 2009, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb.
Milan was born June 21, 1933 in Sv Rok, Lovinac, Croatia, son to Ivan and Marija (Krpan) Krpan; he married Marija (Maria) Sulentic in Salzburg, Austria on December 7, 1958. Just weeks later Milan would leave Vienna, Austria to find himself USA bound as he would arrive in New York, New York to spend his first full day celebrating New Year’s Eve in what would become his new country. The next day he would travel to his new home in DeKalb, IL. With the help of new friends and his Uncle Mike and Aunt Tillie Kerpan, he prepared to bring Maria here to join him. Milan trained and graduated as a Master Cabinet Builder in Croatia and he would use his new trade in his first job for local builder E.M. Kelly. Maria later joined him on November 21, 1959. Several years later Milan and Maria would start Milan Krpan construction with the help and support of many, especially Joseph Japuntich. He would become no stranger to work, and he prided himself at being able to find eighty hours of work every week as he worked hard to provide for his family, not just here but also back home in Croatia. On April 25, 1967, Milan and Maria became proud citizens of the United States of America.
He was a member and very strong supporter of St. Mary School and Church in DeKalb. He was also very proud to be a member of the Croatian Franternal Union and of his Croatian heritage. His many memberships included the St. Mary’s Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus (where he was a 4th Degree member), Lions Club, DeKalb County Homebuilders Association (where he served as president) and later the DeKalb County Building and Developers Association, Alderman at large for the City of DeKalb (1968/1969), DeKalb Public Hospital Board, Fertile Fathers Bowling League and sponsor for countless bowling teams over the years along with many schools and organizations that also benefited from his annual support over the years.
Professionally, Milan would begin to set the bar high for local construction. Over his fifty years of business he would build countless numbers of homes in the DeKalb and Sycamore communities. Milan build many apartment buildings over the years as he and Marija became landlords of people whose friendships remain strong to this day. Milan also found himself getting involved with commercial construction, and eventually he would start in the land development end of the business. Milan worked hard and was proud of all of his projects over the years, starting with Krpan Court in DeKalb and in Sycamore as he developed the Meadowland subdivision. Using his unique ability of vision he then began Grandview One townhomes in Sycamore and eventually continue this vision to Grandview Two and Three. He later continued on to his current developments with Krpan’s Parkside in Sycamore and would show his respect and gratitude for this great country when he opened his Thanks America Commercial Park in Sycamore/DeKalb.
Milan loved his family deeply, starting with his wife, who was his biggest supporter and his backbone for nearly 51 years of marriage. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren meant everything to him. Milan loved and cherished his many aunts, uncles and cousins from the Waukegan/Gurnee area and especially looked forward to the Kerpan/Krpan Rokova every August. He treasured and valued each of his many friends, who he would see on a regular basis whether walking his 3 miles at the YMCA or stopping into his “second office” at the Sycamore McDonald’s. Milan knew many and always seemed to have just enough of the right words to get someone to smile, either with one of his many stories or a little joke and then off he would go with the McDonald’s coffee cup in one hand, hat on his head and his warm smile and a wave goodbye as he moved on.
A very proud man, Milan was especially proud of the many friendships that he developed through his business partnerships. Many of these friendships became his closest and most cherished.
Milan was not all work growing up in Croatia; he served in the Yugoslavian army where he would become a champion boxer. Known as little bit of jokester and rebel at times he enjoyed hanging with his friends in those younger days. He was a very good swimmer and was credited with saving the lives of several when he lived in Croatia. He also enjoyed and played semi-professional soccer while he worked and schooled to become a Master Cabinet Maker. He loved to watch all sports but especially loved his Chicago Blackhawks, Bears and Bulls and especially loved to be able to talk sports with his children and grandchildren. Milan was also an avid reader and loved to read everything from newspapers to books.
Born in Croatia, married in Austria and died in the U.S.A. He began as a cabinet maker, became a builder and developer and in his later years became quite proud of his farms.
He is survived by his wife Maria, his children Ivan (Amanda), Mary Ann Emanuel, Martin and Milan (Sylvia). He is also survived by his grandchildren Brock, Adrienne, Katherine, Brant and Brice Krpan, Elizabeth and Daniel Emanuel, Jessica (Brian) Wynn, Jason (Candace) Freeman; great-grandchildren, Olivia and Owen Wynn, Landon and Carter Freeman; two brothers in Hamilton, ON Canada, Petar (Marija), Mato (Ruzica), nieces and nephews, Anna, Mark, Sandra (Joe) Barone, Ivan, along with several great nieces and great nephews; niece in Croatia; Spomenka (Stipe) Liovic and family including other nieces and nephews throughout Croatia.
He is predeceased by his parents Ivan and Marija; his grandparents both of who are buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Libertyville, IL; his sister Anka Krpan and Manda and Milan Jurijevic and Kata and Mate Zubak; and his niece, Manda (Krpan) Kemp. His aunts and uncles, Mike and Tillie Kerpan (DeKalb), Kata and Luca Kerpan (North Chicago), Marko and Marija Krpan (Croatia) and many aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the Waukegan and North Chicago area.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at St. Mary Church, DeKalb, IL at 10:30a.m. There will be a viewing prior to the funeral mass. Burial will be at the St. Mary Cemetery, DeKalb, IL.
Visitation services will be held on Tuesday October 13, 2009 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm with a prayer service at 8:30pm at the Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home located at 310 Oak Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial for education is being established in Milan Krpan’s honor.