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First Editor of MNO, Robert Donald Kranyik

MNO staff at St. Ladislaus Church pig roast. Bob is second from right.

First Editor of MNO, Robert Donald Kranyik

Olga Vallay Szokolay

When, after 17 years, Joseph Balogh had to stop publishing the printed Magyar News, Bob Kranyik insisted that we could not allow Joseph’s initiative to fade away, but that we should try to keep it alive in some form.  That is when we decided to continue the publication online.

Bob became our first Editor, and guided us in the beginning.  Then, as a member of the Editorial Board, he contributed greatly to the webpage’s scope.  He wrote numerous articles, most of them on the Hungarian history of the Bridgeport-Fairfield area, with which he was intimately familiar, since he grew up there.  He was extremely proud of his Hungarian heritage, and was always “working on something for the next issue”.  As Joe Ull, a good friend and another member of the Editorial Board said, “Bob was a sparkplug for MNO”.

In addition to his contributions to Magyar News Online, Bob was also instrumental in organizing and coordinating a very well-attended six-week course on Hungarian history and culture at the Fairfield Senior Center in the fall of 2008, entitled “Hungary from the Urals to Fairfield”, in which some of the MNO staff participated as presenters.  And he was very active in the establishment of a Hungarian Archive at the Fairfield Museum.

Who was Bob Kranyik?  He was born at Fairfield, CT on September 19, 1931.  He received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Fairfield University, a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, and did advanced graduate work at New York University, Teachers College of Columbia University, and the New School for Social Research.  

After serving in the Fairfield Public Schools for seven years as a teacher and administrator, Professor Kranyik joined the faculty of the University of Bridgeport, where he rose to become Dean of the College of Education, and was awarded the Charles A. Dana Professorship in Educational Management.  At the University of Bridgeport, he led the development of a national award-winning master’s degree program in elementary education, and the creation of the University’s Doctoral Program in Educational Management. 

In addition to his contributions to MNO, Bob was also the author of numerous professional articles in the fields of curriculum, teaching, and educational administration, as well as five books in the same fields.  Upon retirement from the University, he was awarded emeritus rank, and went on to spend five years working with School Development Program at the Yale Child Study Center.

Bob served in the United States Navy Reserve, and was discharged as a Petty Officer First Class. He spoke four languages, and also wrote a number of columns in local newspapers about Fairfield and Easton issues and environmental concerns.

He was especially proud of his role in the preservation of Trout Brook Valley, and more than 16,000 acres of water company land in Western Connecticut.

He was a life member of Fayerweather Yacht Club, where he served as a member of the Board of Governors and president of the FYC Holding Corporation.  He loved sailing on his sloop, “Silver Heels”, and participated in both racing and cruising to faraway places.  His special interest was sailing in the Virgin Islands with family and friends.

Bob and his wife Louise were happily married for more than 59 years, had two daughters and two grandchildren.

Robert D. Kranyik departed this life at age 80, on August 24, 2012.

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