Maria Krpan

Rođena:07.10.1936. (Sveti Rok, Hrvatska)

Preminula:27.10.2023. (DeKalb, Illinois, Sjedinjene Američke Države)

Dob: 87


from 4pm - 8pm

Finch Funeral Home



St. Mary's Church

St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, DeKalb

Maria Krpan, 87, of DeKalb, Illinois, peacefully passed away on October 27, 2023, in the favorite room of the home her beloved husband, Milan, built for them; her sunroom. Her family and closest friends were by her side during these last days showering this beautiful, wise, hardworking, generous, fun-loving, compassionate lady who always put others before herself with love.

Maria was born October 7, 1936, in Sveti Rok, Croatia to Martin and Manda Sulentic (nee Sulentic). As the oldest of eight children, Maria acted as a second mother figure towards her siblings while her parents worked long hours on their farm providing for their family. Another duty she took great pride and joy in while growing up was taking care of the family sheep. Her face always lit up when telling stories of how smart her sheep were.

In the 1950s, Maria left Croatia for Austria on a work visa to help support her family back home and create a better life for her family-to-be. One job she took there was working for a chef at a hotel, where she learned to make many of the delicious baked goods we all enjoyed. It was also in Austria where she met the love of her life, Milan Krpan. They would take many walks together while at the internment camp, and they soon married in Salzburg, Austria on December 7, 1958, after a whirlwind romance. Just a few short weeks later, on December 31st, Milan embarked for America to start a life for himself and his new wife in DeKalb, Illinois while Maria stayed in Austria until November 1959 when she was able to join him. On February 21, 1967, Maria and Milan became proud US citizens.

Together they flipped one property at a time until they had enough equity to purchase their first apartment building. That one apartment turned into many. Maria took great pride in these buildings and would frequently be found maintaining them or planting beautiful flowers out front. The fact that numerous tenants became lifelong friends was a true testament to the type of landlord Maria was. Through all of their hard work, Maria and Milan were able to accomplish an extremely important goal of theirs to once again become farmers. They purchased their first farm in 2003.

Despite all the work she did for the construction business she and Milan owned, she always found time to maintain the home they built together and to put homemade meals on the table for her family. Maria was a magician in the kitchen and could make a feast appear out of nowhere, even on short notice. She was the queen of hospitality and no one ever left her home hungry.

Maria was a lifelong crocheter, making cherished, well-loved blankets not only for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren but for numerous others as well. It wasn't until later in life when she found her love of swimming, bowling, bingo and watching tennis. In 2012, Maria was honored by being inducted into the DeKalb Area Bowling Association's Hall of Fame.

In 1959, Maria became a member of St. Mary's Parish and was a faithful church goer. In keeping with her generous and compassionate heart, she joined Catholic Daughters where she brought hot meals for the St. Mary's grade schoolers, organized salad bars, and worked funeral luncheons.

Through various hobbies and memberships, Maria formed countless friendships. She had many laughs with this chosen family over cups of coffee and homemade baked goods, playing 500, traveling for bowling tournaments, and daubing bingo cards ("I only needed two more numbers"). They enjoyed sharing the accomplishments of their children and grandchildren.

Maria's smile lit up every room she walked into and the impact she made on so many lives is undeniable. She has set a high bar of excellence for her family and will forever be missed.

Maria is survived by her four children Ivan (Amanda) Krpan, Mary Ann Krpan, Martin Krpan, and Milan (Sylvia) Krpan, Jr.; her nine grandchildren Brock (Stacey) Krpan, Adrienne (Nick) Carey, Katherine Krpan, Brant Krpan (girlfriend Alex Johnston), Brice Krpan, Elizabeth (Charles) Berklich, Daniel Emanuel, Jessica (Brian) Wynn, and Jason Freeman; her thirteen great grandchildren Evelyn, Blake, and Mariah Krpan, Truitt Carey, Ella Owen and Avery and Kash Moore, Tessa and Samuel Berklich, Olivia and Owen Wynn, and Landon and Carter Freeman; her siblings Dane Sulentic, Kata (Steve) Kelovic, Franjka Walter, Dragica Sulentic, Ana Krpan, and Petar (Ruza) Sulentic. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Maria is now reunited with her husband Milan, her parents, her brother Ivan Sulentic, her niece Manda Krpan Kemp, great grandson Nolan Carey in addition to many close family friends.

FOTO: Private

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