Funeral Held for NIU Hall of Famer Ollie Krahenbuhl
June 28, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - Funeral services were held Monday for Orville "Ollie" Krahenbuhl, a three-sport star for Northern Illinois from 1937-41 who was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985. Krahenbuhl passed away on Wednesday, June 23, at the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center in DeKalb at the age of 92.
Services were held at Calvary Lutheran Church in Lee, Ill., followed by burial at Union Cemetery in Steward, Ill.
Krahenbuhl, who attended Rochelle High School prior to coming to NIU, earned 11 letters in football, men's basketball and baseball for the Huskies, playing for legendary Huskies' head coach George "Chick" Evans on all three teams.
A fullback and punter for the Northern Illinois football team, Krahenbuhl was named to the "Next 100" of the Huskies' All-Century Team. He was a first team Little 19 Conference fullback in 1938 and 1940, helping the 1938 squad to its first Little 19 Conference title. Krahenbuhl still owns two of the longest punts in Northern Illinois history as his 90-yard boot versus Illinois State in the game that would decide the Little 19 title stands as the second-longest punt in school history. His punting was said to be a key factor in the Huskies' 2-0 victory that day. He added an 80-yard punt versus Central Michigan in 1940 which ranks third on the all-time list.
The four Huskie football teams Krahenbuhl played on posted a combined record of 20-8-5 and never had a losing season.
"Ollie Krahenbuhl is the greatest punter I ever saw," Evans told the DeKalb Daily Chronicle in 1968.
Krahenbuhl also earned a Little 19 Conference Championship on the basketball court as a member of the 1940-41 Huskie hoops team under head coach Ralph McKinzie. That squad won the league crown with a 15-3 record with Krahenbuhl serving as the team's co-captain. In his three years as a basketball letterwinner, his NIU teams never had a losing season. The 6-0 guard was named to Northern Illinois' All-Century Basketball Team in 2001.
Krahenbuhl was also a four-year letterwinner in baseball from 1938-41, with the team's most successful season during his tenure in 1940 with a 14-12 record.
Born July 8, 1917, Krahenbuhl served in the Navy and the Army during World War II after graduating from NIU. Following the war, he returned to the area and served as athletic director and coached four varsity sports at Harlem High School in Rockford and was the athletic director and a coach at Shabbona High Schools while also running his family farm near Lee and Steward, Illinois. An avid golfer, he was a longtime member of Kishwaukee Country Club, as well as the American Legion and Rotary International.
He and his college sweetheart, Lillian (Wickness), were married in 1942 and were married for almost 65 years before her death in 2007.
Krahenbuhl is survived by his five children, Gary (Richey) Krahenbuhl of Tempe, Ariz., James (Jean) Krahenbuhl of Earp, Calif., Scott (Peg) Krahenbuhl of Surprise, Ariz., Debra (Jan) Hueber of Steward, Ill., and Doug (Sue) Krahenbuhl of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
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