In Memoriam: John A. Krsul, 48th SBM President

In Memoriam: John A. Krsul, 48th SBM President

June 15, 2020

The State Bar of Michigan mourns the loss of its 48th president, John A. Krsul, who died June 11, at age 82.

Krsul served as president of the State Bar of Michigan from 1982–1983. He was appointed to the State Bar Board of Commissioners in November 1973 and ran successfully for re-election in 1974, 1977, and 1980. Prior to his service on the Board of Commissioners, he served as chair of the Young Lawyers Section in 1970–1971.

Krsul was a partner at Dickinson Wright practicing corporate and anti-trust law. He performed many leadership roles with the American Bar Association, serving on the Board of Governors and as treasurer, and also served as a board member and officer of the ABA Retirement Fund for 15 years. In retirement, he volunteered generously with nonprofit organizations.

Julia Darlow, 52nd President of the State Bar and a former Dickinson Wright colleague, remembers Krsul’s service to the Bar and support for other lawyers as “legendary.” She wrote: “I think of John as a very good man: full of good will and positive energy, full of respect and consideration for all others, a deeply loving family man, and a generous, constant friend to many. How fortunate I was to work with John for three decades! As I started out in 1971, in the early days of women in corporate law firms, he gave me challenging work to do, client responsibility and, above all, his trust. He made a huge difference in my career. He has remained a true friend ever since.”

Reginald M. Turner, who served as State Bar of Michigan President in 2002–2003 and is the president-elect-nominee of the American Bar Association, said, "John Krsul was a dear, devoted bar leader and a wonderful mentor to me and many others. I’m praying for John and his family.”

Janet Welch, the State Bar’s executive director, who had unique connections to past President Krsul, shared these remarks:

“Sometimes you follow in the footsteps of someone without knowing it. That was the case with John Krsul and me. John served as SBM president before I joined the bar and it wasn’t until many years later when I became SBM general counsel that I began to learn how much we had in common,” she said.

“John and I were both born in Highland Park, 11 years apart. We grew up not far from one another, in modest homes. We both graduated from Albion College and met our lifelong mates there our freshman year. We both studied abroad as Fulbright scholars the year after we graduated—John in Germany, I in the birthplace of John’s parents, Croatia. We both graduated from University of Michigan law school. Although I could never emulate John’s extraordinary contributions to the legal profession through his State Bar of Michigan and ABA leadership roles, I am grateful I was finally able to catch up to him enough to get to know the kind and caring man he was. John represented the best of what a lawyer can and should be, and my heart goes out to the love of his life, Justine, and their wonderful family.”

Krsul is survived by his wife Justine, daughter Ann (Leslie), daughter Mary (Andrew), his grandchildren Katie (Elvin), Caleb, Peter, Grace, and Harry.

A service is planned for 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at Harbert Community Church, 6444 Harbert Rd., Sawyer, MI. Burial will take place at Lakeside Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph.

Memorial contributions may be made to Harbert Community Church-Neighbor by Neighbor, 6444 Harbert Rd., Sawyer, MI. Online condolences can be made at