Dr. Krasa was born to Czech immigrant parents in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood in 1891. He grew up in the shadow of St. Procopius Parish at 18th and Allport. Dr. Krasa graduated from the Medical College of the University of Illinois in 1913 and established his practice in the old Pilsen neighborhood, becoming prominent in the city’s medical profession.
Dr. Krasa had a life-long interest in education, teaching chemistry in the university’s college of dentistry. He also taught in the College of Medicine from 1913-1919 and again from 1919-1929 after returning from two years of military service in France during WW I. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corp in 1919, he served on the faculty of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois and the University Hospital Training School for Nurses. He was also an attending at the University Hospital and Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. He specialized in eye, ear, nose and throat medicine at St. Anthony de Padua Hospital in Chicago from 1930 until his retirement on July 1, 1967. Dr. Krasa was one of the first members of the St. Procopius College Advisory Board established in Lisle in 1956 becoming a trustee of Benedictine college for 24 years. Over that time Dr. Krasa gave generously to numerous causes.
Dr. Krasa, who never married, amassed a minor fortune by investing in real estate. He died March 17, 1980, at the age of 89 leaving his estate in trust to his sister Rose Mari Krasa until her death in 1985. In her will, Rose Krasa designated a substantial gift to Loyola establishing a Chair in Ophthalmology in Dr. Krasa’s memory to honor him. Ironically, both Dr. Krasa and his sister had failing eyesight prior to their deaths.
We take great honor in celebrating the lives of Dr. John Matthew Krasa and Rose Marie Krasa for their generosity to the University and the Department of Ophthalmology.