About Leo J. Krichten '41
Induction Class of 2018
Leo J. Krichten has a story that would sound familiar to many of his peers who grew up in the 1920s and 1930s. He was a member of Delone Catholic's first graduating class in 1941 and earned a varsity letter in football.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in Italy during World War II. Mr. Krichten spent 14 months as a prisoner of war and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Among the only items he was allowed to keep during this time were a small bible and a rosary, helping him to draw on his faith to endure his imprisonment.
Upon returning home, he married Sylvia (Wagaman) Krichten '44, and together they raised seven children, five of whom are Delone Catholic alumni. Several of their grandchildren are also Delone Catholic alumni. Mr. Krichten went to work in the retail industry to support his family. Eventually, he and a partner bought several men's clothing stores, which they operated in a family atmosphere. At the time of his Hall of Honor induction, one of Mr. Krichten's sons was still operating the store.
Their faith was a central part of the Krichtens' family life. Where his story begins to diverge from many of his peers is the level to which Mr. Krichten got involved with his church and community. He served in various roles for the local CYO and the Boy Scouts. He also made significant contributions to the Catholic War Veterans, serving in increasingly broader roles as Post, State and eventually National Commander in 1992-93. He received the CWV's highest honor, the St. Sebastian Award, and was also named the CWV's Man of the Year. Mr. Krichten served as a veterans’ advocate in the local community and often spoke to students at Delone Catholic and Annunciation B.V.M. School about his experiences in the Army. He also served in several roles in Annunciation B.V.M. Parish, McSherrystown, until his passing.