April 20, 2017

Obituary: Joan Krenzer

Joan Krenzer, who played the Rockefeller Chapel carillon for more than 30 years, died of breast cancer at the age of 81 on March 31.

As a carillonneur, her favorite songs to play were show tunes. She also often gave tours of the chapel. According to the Chicago Tribune, she was inspired to learn how to play the carillon while on a tour herself in the 1980s.

Krenzer was born and raised in Oak Park, where she later taught piano and lived with her husband, John. Once a week, she would climb the 271 steps in Rockefeller to play the carillon for half an hour. Her husband would accompany her.

“Being there was always the highlight of her week,” John told the Tribune.

In an interview with The Maroon in 2010, Krenzer expressed her love for the carillon. “I hope people never get tired of hearing the bells,” she said.