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Jim C.
Democrat CA 16

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  • Honoring the Life of John H. Krebs

    by Representative Jim Costa

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    COSTA of california in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise with my colleagues, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congressman Ami Bera, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Congresswoman Lois Capps, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Sam Farr, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Congressman Jared Huffman, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod, Congressman Jerry McNerney, Congressman George Miller, Congressman Rick Nolan, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Scott Peters, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Congressman Raul Ruiz, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Congressman Mike Thompson and Congressman Henry Waxman to pay tribute to the life of former Congressman, John H. Krebs.

    John Krebs was an honorable man, and a community leader whose unwavering service will be greatly missed. In addition to his two terms in the United States Congress from 1975-1979, Mr. Krebs was a civic and Democratic Party leader in Fresno, California. Additionally, he worked as an attorney for over 30 years, he was an apprentice diamond cutter during his youth in Tel Aviv, and he served in the U.S. Army.

    [[Page E1806]] While in Congress, he was best known for his authorship and enactment of legislation incorporating the Mineral King Valley into Sequoia National Park, thwarting Disney developers who wanted to turn the wilderness area into a major ski resort. In 2009, President Obama recognized John for his efforts, and signed legislation establishing the John Krebs Wilderness Area which covers 40,000 acres within the Mineral King Valley.

    John Krebs was born on December 17, 1926, in Berlin. His parents fled Germany a few months after Hitler came to power, and he was raised in Tel Aviv. During his adolescence, John embarked on a career as a diamond cutter and joined the Haganah, a Jewish underground organization opposing the British rule, while also preparing to attend college.

    In 1946, John moved to the United States to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated in 1950 and became a U.S. citizen in 1952. Following his two years in the Army, he attended the University of California Hastings College of Law and passed the California Bar in 1957. For the next three decades, he practiced law with the Parichan law firm, specializing in civil defense litigation.

    John wanted to make a positive difference in the community, and he quickly became an activist and leader for Fresno's Democratic Party, playing a key role in local and statewide campaigns. In March 1970, he was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, a position he held until his election to Congress in 1974. He was the first foreign- born congressman from California. John fulfilled the American Dream, and he serves as an inspiration for all of us.

    John returned to Fresno after his tenure in Congress, and practiced law until his retirement. He served on numerous boards and commissions, and was foreman of the Fresno County Grand Jury for two years. John and his wife, Hanna enjoyed traveling, and loved spending time with their children and grandchildren.

    John's strong values, work ethic, and compassion for others were evident to all of those who were fortunate to know him. His loving guidance as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend will be forever cherished.

    John will be greatly missed by Hanna, his son, Daniel Krebs, his daughter, Karen, daughter-in-law, Susan, son-in-law, John, and grandchildren, Elizabeth, Caroline, Jack, Clay, and Peter as well as his 90 year old brother, Shlomo.

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect that we ask the entire House of Representatives to join us in paying tribute to the life of John H. Krebs. We all have an extraordinary role model to look up to, and his presence will be greatly missed, but his legacy will surely live on.


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