Alan J. Kromholz

Alan Joseph Kromholz, 81, of Sebring, Florida, passed away peacefully at his home on March 19, 2020.

Al was born on May 15, 1938 in Merrill, Wisconsin to Joseph and Dolores (Close) Kromholz.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; his son, Joseph (Marjorie) Kromholz of Whitewater, Wisconsin; his son, John (Edsel) Kromholz of Sebring, Florida; his grandchildren, Morgan (Bryce) Copperfield, Nicole Munoz, David Kromholz and Lucas Kromholz; his sister, Diane (Wayne) Bennett; and his brother, Steve (Barb) Kromholz. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Joanne.

Alan graduated from Elmhurst College in 1960 with a B.A. in philosophy. In 1964 he graduated from Eden Theological Seminary with a B.D. and in 1979 was awarded a MDiv. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966-1967, working on advanced graduate studies in rural community development in the School of Agriculture. He was ordained in June 1964 at St. Stephens United Church of Christ in Merrill, Wisconsin.

He served the United Church of Christ as a Pastor in Evansville, Wisconsin and Watertown, Wisconsin. He served as minister to the business community at Frieden’s UCC, Milwaukee and served as interim pastor at Spring Lake Presbyterian Church in Spring Lake, Florida. His career in the ministry came to a dramatic climax in May 1968 when he was removed from the Congregational UCC in Watertown for being too socially and politically active.

His ministry at Watertown was detailed in the 1972 book, “Crisis in Watertown: The Polarization of an American Community.” He continued to be involved in civil rights working as a voter registration worker in Mississippi and in the development of open housing in Wisconsin.

Much of his professional life was in the waste industry. He was director of Sales Development, North America Waste Management, Inc.; V.P. Sales, ARS Waste Management Partners and V.P. of Sales, North America United Waste. He would simply say proudly that he was a “garbage man.”

Al married the love of his life, Ruth Ann Meyer of Chicago, Illinois in 1961. In 2000 they funded the Meyer-Kromholz Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded annually by Elmhurst College. In 2012 they established and funded the Arnold Kromholz Silver ‘M’ Endowed Scholarship at Merrill High School in Wisconsin. They have strongly supported education as they believe education opens the door to success in life.

Al deeply loved his family. He was also passionate about helping others and social justice. He spent hours fishing with his grandchildren, and he will be deeply missed by his family and friends.