Memorial bench stolen from St. Paul Park cemetery

- A bench to honor her late husband was Marilyn Krenik's Mother's Day present from her children.

But sadly, the bench was gone by Father's Day.

"I actually felt sorry for the person who took it. Because to me, what kind of a person would do that?" Marilyn Krenik said.

The bench is about two feet fall and two feet wide with an inscription that reads, 'In memory of a life so beautifully lived and a heart so deeply loved.'

The Kreniks put it next to Joseph Krenik's grave in the St. Thomas Aquinas cemetery in St. Paul Park after he lost his battle with stomach cancer in late April.

Marilyn Krenik last saw the bench just before Memorial Day, but when her granddaughter went to visit the grave a few days later, it was gone.

"They said mom, you can sit down, spend the time you want. It'll also be there for other people to sit on who have graves close to dad. Needless to say its not there, " Krenik said.

Police say the bench probably weighs a couple of hundred pounds, making it difficult for one person to move alone.

Even though someone stole several medallions placed on the graves of World War II vets at the same cemetery last fall, police say stealing a monument is fairly rare.

"Its hard to track down for us. Unless someone saw something or sees something that fits the description on Craigslist or in someone's back yard for someone else's memorial, or in another cemetery plot, We don't have a lot to go on to find who did it, " St Paul Park police chief Jessica Billmeyer said. 

Joseph Krenick was a technical illustrator at 3M for 30 years and wrote two books on his Czechoslovakian heritage, tracing his ancestors as far back at the 14th century.

Now, all his wife wants is for his bench to be put back, no questions asked.

"If it will be returned that would be great. If its not, I'll live with it, but life will go on," Krenik said.

The Kreniks say the bench is worth about $150 but the sentimental value is priceless.

If you have any information on its whereabouts call St. Paul Park Police at 651-459-9785.

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