Peoa woman is remembered as a quiet giant
July 29, 2008
Known among Parkites as a tireless savior of the arts, Peoa resident JoAnn Krajeski, 59, was killed as a result of a bicycle crash Saturday about a mile from her home.
"She believed in the arts, she thought that was one of the nurturing parts of our lives," David Krajeski said about his wife of almost 35 years.
The couple owned a Park City interior design business for nearly 37 years. But Krajeski was perhaps best known for her passion for the Egyptian Theatre.
"She wanted to ensure the Egyptian Theatre remained a local stage," Park City Performing Arts Foundation Executive Director Teri Orr said.
"She saved the Egyptian Theatre repeatedly."
Krajeski was "soft spoken," Orr said.
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"She never sought the limelight. She just always did a lot of hard work," David Krajeski added.
Orr added that "she was extraordinarily well read."
"She was the consummate hostess," Orr said. "Martha Stewart could have taken a page from JoAnn’s book."
Krajeski was a founding member of Save Our Stage and more recently served on the Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax Cultural Advisory Committee.
"I met JoAnn 17 years ago," said Rick Rogers, a fellow Save Our Stage trustee. "Two minutes after meeting her, I thought, I will do anything she wants."
He recalled having lunch with Krajeski when she presided over Park City Performances.
"A friend asked if I would serve on the board. I said no. They said, ‘You have to have lunch with JoAnn,’" Rogers remembered. "Next thing I knew, I became president (of Park City Performances)."
He said he was involved with the Egyptian "because of my great respect and admiration for JoAnn."
"She always seemed to have the right answers," Rogers said. "There is going to be a giant hole in this community."
When Krajeski took on saving the Egyptian, the theater at 328 Main Street "was in terrible disrepair," he said.
Rogers described Krajeski as the driving force behind the group that eventually financed the purchase and renovation of the historic theater.
Krajeski also helped form a group that supported building the Eccles Center, Orr said.
"She knew the community had outgrown the Egyptian and needed a second center for the arts," Orr said. "She was a visionary [and a] generous philanthropist."
Krajeski, an avid cyclist, rode all over the globe.
"She is an expert cyclist, it must have been something horrific that happened," Rogers said about the accident Saturday that claimed Krajeski’s life.
"She did so much for so long, and what she did literally touched the lives of so, so many people," former Park City Mayor Brad Olch said about his friend of three decades. "People like that, you can’t replace them."
Word of Krajeski’s death brought him to tears, Olch said.
"She is one of the kindest, most generous, gentle, understanding people," Olch said. "I feel so fortunate in my life that she was my friend I’m terribly, terribly saddened."
He said he gave money to the Egyptian "because of JoAnn, because she had the passion and the desire, and that was contagious."
"JoAnn would just say, ‘Hey, this is something we need to do,’ and we all did it," he said.
Meanwhile, David Krajeski said his wife "put her heart and soul into all things."
But too easily, memories of the work volunteers perform in Park City fade, Krajeski said.
"There has not been a way to honor these people People like her who would put in hours and hours of her time," he said. "She didn’t leave any stone untouched."