The pervasive unrest in the Middle East has struck the sleepy town of Grand Ledge. Forty-nine-year-old Jon Michael Krancich was killed Wednesday by a suicide bomber in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His former neighbor Ruth Smith says it couldn't have happened to a nicer man.
"He was a kind neighbor. Very generous," Smith says.
Krancich had been working in Afghanistan for a Houston-based securities consulting firm. Smith knew the former Army ranger well. She says he lived to protect others.
"He worked as a body guard for diplomats in Bosnia," she recalls as one of his many hats. According to another neighbor, Krancich worked as a protector for anyone from ambassadors to some of California's wealthiest residents. His career in personal protection took him all over the world, but he never forgot his neighbors.
"He was big into security. He wanted me to have a motion sensor light out front. He said if I bought it, he'd put it up." It was put up, something Smith calls just an example "of his generous gifts."
According to a spokesman from Holihan-Atkin Funeral Home, where Krancich will eventually be buried, says Krancich was supposed to have been back in Michigan when he was killed. He'd had an airline flight for last Sunday or Monday, but due to flight issues, he had to spend a few extra days in Afghanistan. It was during those days he died.
Another neighbor says Krancich had most recently been splitting his time between homes up north and in Thailand. It was his attempt at a relaxing retirement. But the neighbor says he was repeatedly lured back to protection and securities jobs he just couldn't pass up. She says he was happiest while abroad, protecting others.