By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Marcella Grift Krehnbrink died Friday of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at the home of one of her daughters, Suzanne Tomes of Anderson Township. Mrs. Krehnbrink was 87 and an Anderson Township resident.
Born in 1915 to Charles John and Myrle Rahonemus Grift of Cincinnati, she earned a bachelor's degree in childhood education in 1937 from the University of Cincinnati. She was a member of the Theta Phi Alpha Sorority.
In 1939, she founded the Mariemont Nursery School, which was housed in the Mariemont Community Center. Mrs. Krehnbrink was director of the half-day preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds for over 40 years. As students grew up and had children, they brought their kids back.
One of her daughters, Sally Keyes of Arlington, Va., said her mother always checked the newspapers for students' successes.
"She'd say, `I had them in my nursery school,' " said Mrs. Keyes.
Mrs. Krehnbrink was creative and helped in charity work.
"She made a lot of crafts and sold them to help the mental retardation federation through the church and on her own," said Mrs. Keyes.
She grew up enjoying golf and swimming and passed on her athleticism. One of her daughters, Suzanne Tommes, and a son, Robert G. of Indian Hill, swam for UC and several grandchildren are Anderson High School championship swimmers. The children of her other son, L. William of Charlotte, N.C., hold track records in Indiana and North Carolina
"She inspired everybody to give their best, go for it," said Mrs. Keyes. "She was a big supporter of her kids in whatever they did."
Mrs. Krehnbrink was an active member in St. Gertrude Parish in Madeira for 45 years. She joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church when her family moved to Anderson Township in 1995.
She was preceded in death in 1996 by her husband, Lewis W.
In addition to her children, survivors include two sisters, Elaine Voorhees of Ryland Heights, Ky., and Lois Wanstrath of Batesville, Ind.; 15 grandchildren; and 10great-grandchildren.
A memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in the Athenaeum of Ohio-Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West (formerly St. Gregory's Seminary ) in Mount Washington.
Memorials: Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati 45242.
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