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Memorial bench stolen from Minnesota cemetery

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Marilyn Krenik cannot fathom why someone would steal a memorial bench from her husband's gravesite. Family members gave Krenik the bench as a Mother's Day present, as tribute to Joseph Krenik, who died April 28. The bench w...

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Marilyn Krenik cannot fathom why someone would steal a memorial bench from her husband's gravesite.

Family members gave Krenik the bench as a Mother's Day present, as tribute to Joseph Krenik, who died April 28. The bench was installed at his final resting place at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church Cemetery in St. Paul Park.

"I figured if someone needed it that bad, they're in pretty bad shape," Krenik said.

The bench was there when she visited her husband's grave June 4. But it was gone when her granddaughter visited the grave two days later.

"She went home and said, 'Grandma, there's no bench there,'" Krenik said.

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Krenik checked with church officials, who told her they had not removed the bench.

"I just couldn't believe it," she said. 

The bench is about 2 feet tall and 2 feet long. It is engraved with a scene of mountains and pine trees and bears the inscription: "In memory of a life so beautifully lived and a heart so deeply loved."

Joseph Krenik worked for 30 years as a technical illustrator for 3M, but forged a second career as a member of the Czechoslovak International Genealogical Society, where his research was recognized by numerous sources, including the Czech Republic.

There will be no questions asked if the bench is returned, Krenik said.

Anyone with information on the bench should call St. Paul Park police at 651-459-9785.

Related Topics: CRIMETHEFT
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