Francis M. Krill, 93

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TOPSHAM — Francis M. Krill, 93, died Nov. 1 at Cadigan Lodge in Topsham, after a brief illness.

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 2, 1921, the middle son of Mae Rose Krill and Emil John Krill. His grandparents, Mary Bauer, Michael Krill, Caroline David and Rudolph Kohn, were German-speaking immigrants.

Krill graduated with a metallurgical engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1943. He then worked for the Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa), until he joined the U. S. Army. As a second lieutenant, he was assigned to the Los Alamos Project in New Mexico, where he developed casing alloys for plutonium cores.

Upon returning to civilian life, he was soon hired by Kaiser Aluminum as head of its metallography division, a position he held in Spokane, Washington, and later in Pleasanton, California, until he retired in 1986. In retirement, he worked as a metallurgical consultant, mostly in the Middle East. He also pursued his hobby of clock rebuilding and repair, eventually servicing over 800 clocks.

He married Myrna Jane Commet, of Casper, Wyoming, in 1951, and the couple raised five children. His sons, David and Thomas, predeceased him, as well as his siblings, Mary Jane, Madeline, Matilda, Karl, Elmer, Dollie and Thomas.

Divorced in 1976, Krill married Evelyn Rodrigues Estrada in 1988, who predeceased him in 2004.

Krill is survived by his younger sister, Jeanne Toeniskoetter, of Columbus, Ohio; children, Leonard, of Brunswick, Allan, of Trondheim, Norway, and Loretta, of Port Angeles, Washington; and nine grandchildren. 

Krill lived happily for almost 15 years at a retirement community in California, where he was the librarian, an active member of the hospitality committee and an inveterate distributor of pedometers, which he bought by the dozens to encourage residents to keep walking. He proudly averaged four miles a day until congestive heart failure slowed him down last spring. He moved to Maine to the assisted living facility at Cadigan Lodge, The Highlands, in June.

He was grateful to the staff of CHANS Hospice Care Program of Maine, who provided him with compassionate care in his final months, and to the nurses and caregivers at Cadigan Lodge, who treated him with sensitivity, affection and respect.

Memorial donations may be made via the CHANS website.

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