Scholarship honors longtime Life cartoonist

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

It's nice to be remembered, but how one is remembered is the thing. For the late Charley Krebs, being remembered comes in many forms.

Krebs was a Riverside resident who passed away on Nov. 10, 2016 at the age of 59, but he had achieved much during those years, which were memorable. 

He probably was best known as an award-winning cartoonist for the Suburban Life newspaper chain. Krebs' talent took hold when he was a student at Morton College, where he was part of the first graduating class at the new campus at Central Avenue and Pershing Road and served as editor of The Collegian, the school newspaper.

After graduating from Morton College, he began an association with the Life newspapers for 39 years, pumping out five cartoons a week. There he met and befriended the Life's managing editor, Bob Lifka. 

Lifka and another friend of Krebs', Dan Fridanze, have created a scholarship in Krebs' memory to a Morton College student planning to study journalism. The scholarship is funded through donations to the Charley Krebs Memorial Scholarship through the Morton College Foundation. 

Organizers of the Riverside Farmers Market recognized Krebs' contributions by collecting donations to be given to the fund. He provided print ads for the farmers market on a regular basis, the most recognizable of which is his version of the classic Grant Wood "American Gothic" couple.

It was Bob Lifka and Jackie Krebs, Charley's sister, who announced the recipient of the first Charley Krebs Scholarship at a convocation in May at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center at Morton College. 

The recipient was Irisneida Rodriguez, who has been the editor-in-chief the Morton College Collegian, with a high recommendation from the faculty advisors.

Lifka, a Brookfield resident, has a strong journalism background and in education, working as a substitute teacher locally. He is also remembered as being the former director of the North Riverside Library. 

He stated that he hopes people will continue remembering Krebs by helping to support the scholarship fund to help others follow the late cartoonist's path and nurture a strong interest in journalism.

More information on donating or learning more about the Charley Krebs Memorial Scholarship can go to the website at www.mortoncollegefoundation.org/donations-giving.

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