Johnny Krizancic

Article - #2 (2009)

Johnny Krizancic

1929 - 2009


HERMITAGE, PA. – Johnny Krizancic, Martha’s beloved husband and best friend, has passed away, Saturday, April 25, 2009, at 5:12 a.m. at UPMC Horizon Hospital after a brief illness. He was 80 years old. Mr. Krizancic was born in Farrell, Pa., on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1929, a son of Ignatius and Helen (Novosel) Krizancic. He served in the United States Air Force. Upon discharge from the military, he attended Westminster College as a music major and after two years switched his major to Electrical and Radio engineering at Penn State University. By his God given talents, he devoted his life, heritage, time and energy as an important force in the world of polka and international entertainment. He was not only a performer, but also a Radio/TV personality and recording artist, a record company executive, sound engineer, and music producer. During his educational time he performed with a variety of orchestras from Big Band, Country, Slovenian Style Polkas and Croatian/Serbian Tamburitza. In the past 60 years, Johnny performed on occasion with America’s Polka King Frank Yankovic, Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek and the Hank Haller Ensemble on live performances, videos and recordings. In his early years in the tamburitza field, he performed with many groups as the Dave Zupkovich Balkan Recording Orchestra, George Skrbina, the Veseli Tamburitzans and his own international group, which recorded over 10 Polka and Tamburitza albums. In 1959, Johnny and his wife, Martha, organized the Veseli Tamburitzans with other former member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans and recorded their first album on a newly formed record label created by Martha and Johnny Krizancic entitled Marjon International Music. Since then, Johnny has recorded, produced and financed in his recording studio 10 LP albums for London Records and over 50 polka and tamburitza LP albums on his Marjon Label. He produced and recorded over 65 Slovenian, German and Czech albums for (1992 Grammy Nominee) Hank Haller and over 250 albums of various polka, tamburitza and international artists and groups. Johnny was a performer on Walter Ostanek’s Grammy Winning Album “Music and Friends” and one of the engineers on two other Grammy Award Winning Albums by Walter Ostanek. On “Frank Yankovic’s” First Grammy Award Winning “70 Years of Hits” in 1985, Johnny’s composition of “Zivila Braca, Ziveli Sestre” (Long Live our Brother/Sisters) was song number one on side one. In 1961, Johnny began his international and polka radio programs on Station WFAR in the Sharon, Pa.,-Youngstown, area on Sunday morning and in 1969 began a 45 minute daily polka program which lasted for a period of 14 years. Since 1983 Johnny has been a Polka DJ on WPIC Radio, Sharon, Pa., WAJT Radio, Chardon, and Polka show on the Internet at The Jammer Totaling a period of over 50 years, Johnny has been promoting Cleveland Style Polkas and other international ethnic music. His awards include, 1966 Gold Record Album, 1983 Inducted into Tamburitza Hall of Fame, 1987 Bavarian Fun Fest Festmeister – Key to City and Johnny Krizancic Day in Sharon, 1991 Penn Ohio Polka Pals Man of the Year, Polka Radio Club Man of the Year, and Hermitage, Pa., Man of the Year, 1988 POPP Boosters Lifetime Dedication Award, 1993 ABC Club Man of the Year, Canton Mayor’s Citation; 1994 Inducted into Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Grandmaster Slovenefest – Enon Valley, Pa., 1996 Honored for 40 years on Polka Radio, 1998 Krizancic’s composition of Zivila Braca, Ziveli Sestre (Long Live Our Brothers/Sisters) inducted into Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame. In addition to the above awards, Johnny produced, directed and recorded the music sound track to the Hollywood motion picture “Gandy Hopper” and the USA and Australian motion picture documentary of “Homeland to Homelands,” in which he also acted and sang. John was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Morefield Rd. in Hermitage. He was a dedicated church member, teaching Sunday School, and was on the Church Council, Evangelism Committee for over 40 years. He worked with the Thrivent Financial, raising money to help people and the community. He was a member of the Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 817 and the Slovene National Benefit Society Keystoners Lodge. He leaves his dedicated wife, Martha (Dzurinda) Krizancic, whom he married, April 23, 1955; a sister, Ann Dovutovich of Sharon, Pa.; a brother, “Mickey” Krizancic and his wife, Frances, of Girard; many nieces, nephews and the families of: Lori Terpak, Michele Radon, Susan Krizancic, Robert Krizancic, Mary Ann, Thomas, and Joe Dovutovich, Sue Paul and Andrea Detelich, Roxanne Pagley, Matt, Stephen, and Tod Dzurinda, Ruth Toth and families; and Godchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Charles. John will be sadly missed by his wife Martha of 54 years and the many friends and relatives he touched with his beautiful voice and musical talents.


On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. 1090 E. State St. Sharon, PA 16146. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with Rev. John Lynch and Rev. Ngweshemi Andrea. A procession will leave the funeral home at 9:15 a.m. Burial will be at Holy Trinity Lutheran Cemetery.


“And the Lord asked, ‘Servant, what have you done with the One Talent I gave you?’ And John answered, ‘Yes, Lord I took the One Talent you gave me and multiplied it 10 times.’ Then the Lord answered ‘Well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things I will make you ruler over many things; Enter the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” Matthew 25:23. John is now in glory with his savior, Jesus Christ, whom he served faithfully.


Memorials can be made to one of his unfinished projects, A TV for the church’s social room or to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3325 Morefield Rd., Hermitage, PA 16148.






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