FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Robert Donald Kranyik of Fairfield, previously of Easton, died Friday, Aug, 24. He was 80.
He was born Sept. 19, 1931, to James Kranyik and Mary Mazalin Kranyik. He graduated from McKinley School and Fairfield Preparatory School in 1948. Kranyik received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Fairfield University, a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and did advanced graduate work at New York University, Columbia University Teachers College and the New School for Social Research.
He worked as a teacher and administrator for Fairfield public schools before joining the faculty of the University of Bridgeport. He became dean of the College of Education and was awarded the Charles A. Dana Professorship in Educational Management.
While at UB, Kranyik led the development of an award-winning master's degree program in elementary education and the creation of the university's doctoral program in educational management.
He wrote numerous professional articles and five books on the fields of curriculum, teaching and education administration. The university awarded Kranyik emeritus rank and he went on to spend five years working with the school development program at the Yale Child Study Center.
Kranyik served in the Navy Reserve and was discharged as a petty officer first class. He spoke four languages and was very proud of his Hungarian heritage, writing many articles about the settlement of Hungarians in Bridgeport and Fairfield.
He also wrote several columns about Fairfield and Easton issues and environmental concerns. He and his wife, Louise, lived in Easton for 37 years, before moving to Fairfield seven years ago.
While in Easton, Kranyik served 12 years on the Easton Board of Education and helped to preserve Trout Brook Valley. A life member of the Fayerweather Yacht Club, Kranyik served on the board of governors and as president of the FYC Holding Corporation. He loved sailing, especially in the Virgin Islands.
In retirement, he enjoyed having coffee with friends at the yacht club and fishing on his small lobster boat, the Chief Jim, named after his father. He also enjoyed trout fishing on the banks of the Mill River.
Kranyik is survived by his wife of 59 years, Louise; two daughters, Mary Louise Kranyik (George J.) Woods and Jane Agnes (Charles G.) O'Connor, both of Fairfield; a sister, Patricia Kranyik Butzko, of Fairfield; and two grandchildren.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lesko and Polke Funeral Home in Fairfield Center. A requiem Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at Holy Cross Church in Fairfield. Burial will be in Aspetuck Cemetery in Easton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chief James Kranyik Scholarship Fund at Fairfield College Preparatory School, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.