National Wildlife Refuge System

Remembering a Friend

Friends Forward April 2014

Molly Krival, often referred to as a “mother of the Friends movement,” died February 15 at the age of 88. After a professional career as a speech therapist, she and her husband retired to Florida from Wisconsin in 1988 and began volunteering for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society. She served three terms as president and also served on the board of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. 

Krival discovered a passion for wildlife during family camping trips in Kenya, once keeping everyone calm when she opened the tent flap to discover a hippopotamus looking back. She traveled the U.S. as a mentor for new Friends groups, developing a course to help refuge managers work more effectively with Friends and serving as a director for the Friends of Midway Atoll. “She helped blaze new paths for refuge support,” says Paul Tritaik, manager of J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

“Molly knew what a difference Friends made,” wrote retired refuge manager Mark Musaus. “Two of her key mantras when speaking to Friends were that board members had a duty to care and a duty of loyalty. She walked the talk.”

Krival was awarded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Special Commendation for Valuable Service in 1996 and named Volunteer of the Year in 1998. “Molly will be missed, but her legacy of strong citizen support for refuges will live on,” added Tritaik, “just as she would have wanted.”

Last updated: April 16, 2014