William Krenkler, 60, Lehigh Press Executive

Posted: June 06, 1989

William O. Krenkler, 60, a retired printing company executive and a leader in the graphic arts industry, died Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. He lived in Cherry Hill.

Before his retirement last year, Mr. Krenkler was president, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Lehigh Press in Pennsauken, which prints catalogues, legal papers and other publications. Its Texas plant prints the TV Guide edition distributed in the Southwest.

Trained as a mechanical engineer, he was known for designing presses to fit specific publications and for other technological processes involved in contemporary graphic arts.

Mr. Krenkler was born in Philadelphia and educated in the public schools.

From 1947 to 1951, he worked as a registered journeyman tool and die maker for the Veit & Young Co. in Philadelphia. From 1951 to 1953, he served as a corporal in the Army in Korea, then he came back to Veit & Young as a shop foreman in tool design.

While working, Mr. Krenkler took night classes in mechanical engineering at Drexel University. His wife, Patricia, said that it took him 12 years to get his degree and that he graduated in 1956 with the highest honors. From 1955 to 1959, he was a mechanical engineer and an applications engineer for the Link Belt Co. in Philadelphia.

In 1959, Mr. Krenkler took over as chief executive officer of the National Publishing Co. in Philadelphia, which was owned by his former father-in-law. At the time, the book and Bible publishing company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Mr. Krenkler turned the business around.

"The way he did it was: He was the first man to put the Bible into computer memory and typeset it from that database, which enabled National to increase production and reduce labor costs," his wife said.

He worked at National Publishing until 1974, when he went to work at Lehigh Press. He worked with the Toshiba Co. in Japan in designing the Lehigh Press facility in Texas.

Mr. Krenkler was an officer of many graphic arts associations over the years. He also was a member of a Drexel University committee that was implementing a graphic arts program at the school. He was a charter member of the Drexel Cross Keys student service fraternity.

He was a member of the Union League and the Vespers Club.

Surviving are his wife, Patricia; two sons, William Jr. and Charles F., daughters, Carol Ann Siegmund and Laura Jean Michael; four grandchildren, and a brother.

A viewing will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Kraft Funeral Home, 1801 Old York Rd. in Abington. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 570 Welsh Rd. in Huntingdon Valley.

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