E. A. Kral of Wilber, died Jan. 22, 2021. He was age 85. The son of Henry F. and Rose Altman Kral, he was born Sept. 3, 1935, on their farm three miles west and one-half mile north of Wilber.
After attending Rural School District 97, he graduated from Wilber High School in 1953, then served as a finance clerk in the U.S. Army for three years. Upon earning bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1960 and 1965, he taught at Irving Junior High in Lincoln for three years, at Livingston High School in Livingston, California, for one year and at Grand Island Senior High in Grand Island for 26 years. In addition to authoring student term paper manuals, he published articles on his reason research in the Winter 1985 Educational Forum and in the May/June 1997 Skeptical Inquirer. He was also active in professional development projects and as a skeptical investigator of paranormal claims. As a result of student nominations, he was a finalist in 1987 and a nominee in 1988 for the Freda Batty Distinguished Educator Award from the University of Nebraska Foundation and was included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 1990 and 1992.
Upon retirement from teaching in 1991, he then devoted more than 20 years to the publication of local histories, biographies of nationally distinguished Nebraskans and research of Nebraskans who lived to age 107 or above. Among the more notable were a supplement on town founder Charles Dana Wilber with the Aug. 2, 2000, Wilber Republican and a supplement on Nebraskans of unusual longevity with the April 24, 2002, Crete News. Aside from assistance provided to the Gage County Historical Society at Beatrice regarding Hollywood movie star Robert Taylor, including his Taylor supplement published with the Oct. 8, 1993, Beatrice Daily Sun, he also co-authored in 2010 the book Profiles of Nationally Distinguished Nebraskans, which was based on previous publication of 44 profiles in The Crete News and he authored in 2012 the reference book Nationally Distinguished Nebraskans; A Bio-Bibliography of More Than 900 Individuals From 1854 to 2012, which was the culmination of research begun in 1995.
He also created the Internet document 900 Famous Nebraskans made available by the Nebraska State Education Association, along with the Nebraska Press Association and the Gage County Historical Society. He also published five Internet documents about Nebraskans of unusual longevity on the Nebraska Health Care Association website. His donation of more than 900 photos of persons and events connected to the town of Wilber, the state of Nebraska and their national recognition is housed with the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln. His personal papers and files on nationally distinguished Nebraskans are also housed in the archives of Love Library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Among his many local projects were sponsorship of the Kral Room at Hotel Wilber in 1990, display of framed photos of 18 notable persons in the hotel interior and donation of local research notes to Dvoracek Memorial Library. His biography of the Kral family was published in the Sept. 20, 1995, Wilber Republican. In 1995, he established the Kral Memorial Scholarship with the Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools Foundation, in 1997, the E. A. Kral Endowment for Support of the UNL Archive with the University of Nebraska Foundation and in 2006, the Kral Family Scholarship with the Southeast Community College Educational Foundation. He also initiated in 1995 the establishment of the Robert Taylor Scholarship and in 2006 its additional funding the Beatrice Educational Foundation.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1977; his mother in 1988; his brother, Irvin in 2004; and his sister, LaVerne Brozovsky in 2011. Among surviving relatives are nephews, Leland Brozovsky of Lincoln and David Brozovsky of Vail, Colorado; nieces, Christee Waugh and Diane Thompson of Lincoln, Deborah Gaul of Fruita, Colorado, Vickie Lynch of Lewisville, Texas, and Rita Phagan of Albuquerque, New Mexico; along with several grandnieces and nephews and many cousins.
A graveside service will be Friday, April 16, at 1 p.m. at the Wilber Czech Cemetery. Condolences may be left for the family at www.kunclfh.com.