Adele Krug, retired Gallaudet professor, dies at 104

June 7, 2012

Adele Krug, who taught library science at Gallaudet University for 20 years, died May 20 at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, where she had lived for the past 21 years. She was 104.

She had a stroke and aspiration pneumonia, her son Warren J. Krug said.

Adele Gertrude Jensen was born March 30, 1908, in Thief River Falls, Minn. At the age of 8, she had the mumps and suffered a slight hearing impairment. She was told that she would eventually lose her hearing, which she did — but not until she was 93. For most of her life, she was able to hear and communicate with the assistance of hearing aids.

After graduating from high school, she attended what was then called the Minnesota School for the Deaf for a year to learn sign language, which would enable her to teach deaf students.

She came to Washington to attend Gallaudet, from which she graduated in 1930. In 1961, Mrs. Krug received a master’s degree in library science from Catholic University.

From 1930 to 1932, she was an instructor at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, and then she returned to Washington. She was married in 1932 to Walter J. Krug, a Gallaudet biology professor who later was the college’s dean of men.

The family lived on the Gallaudet campus, where Mrs. Krug taught home economics at the Kendall School, then a secondary school for deaf students. She began a 20-year career on the Gallaudet faculty in 1955. She retired in 1975 as an associate professor of library science.

In retirement, Mrs. Krug traveled extensively, touring Europe and taking cruises around the world. She was president of the Stuart Junior High School PTA in Washington in the 1950s.

Her husband died in 1962. A daughter, Janice Riley, died in 1996.

Survivors include three children, Diana K. Armstrong of Springfield, Walter F. Krug of Appomattox, Va., and Warren J. Krug of Dunkirk; 11 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Until she reached the age of 100, Mrs. Krug was able to walk. But soon after, she fell and broke her hip, and she had been bedridden since then.

When Mrs. Krug was 94, she wrote a letter to family members, sharing her memories of some of the major events of the 20th century. She and her family were living on the Gallaudet campus when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, launching the United States into World War II.

Unlike many Gallaudet students and faculty members, Mrs. Krug was able to hear the news on the radio.

“We were stunned, as was the nation,” she wrote. “Hearing-impaired people wanted me to interpret [in sign language] what I had heard on the radio about the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

Mrs. Krug also described the influenza epidemic of 1918-19, which struck while she was a child in Minnesota.

“Almost every family was hit and people were dying everywhere,” she wrote. “We went around the neighborhood helping other people who were sick. I remember having to wear a mask and a clove of garlic around my neck. The garlic was supposed to fend off the flu bug.”