Kenneth “Ken” Kraft, 83, a longtime Racine, MN resident, died on Friday, October 30, 2020 of natural causes at Mayo Clinic – Rochester St. Mary’s Campus.
Kenneth George Kraft was born on May 11, 1937 in Elkton, MN to George and Gertrude (Riehl) Kraft, their only child. He grew up on the family farm, attended Elkton schools, and graduated from Elkton H.S. in 1955. He enlisted in the United States Air Force following graduation, and was stationed in Alaska and Wisconsin during his service to our country. After he was discharged he took over the family farm. Ken married Julie C. Spear on December 12, 1957 in Elkton, MN. The couple lived on the family farm in rural Elkton before moving to Racine in 1971. Mrs. Kraft died unexpectedly in 1991. Ken was employed by the City of Stewartville, and retired after 35 years, achieving the position of Superintendent of Public Works. Ken was married in 1992 to Nancy Mercuris at the Little Brown Church in Nashua,IA . They made their home in Racine. Due to failing health Ken has been a resident at Samaritan Bethany Homes in Rochester for a number of years. Ken was a member of the Elkton Lutheran Church and the Racine United Methodist Church, and was a member of the Racine Lion’s Club. He enjoyed rodeos and horseback riding and helped establish the Mower County Mounted Posse serving as a sheriff’s deputy for many years. He enjoyed following NASCAR, Minnesota Vikings football and Happy Hour. His love of exotic animals eventually became a business that brought him great joy. Ken enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ken is survived by his wife Nancy; his children: Sherrie (Allan) Felske of Rochester; Timothy Kraft (Susan Gunneson)of Medford; Tara (John) Gergen of Mantorville; and Todd (Jennifer) Kraft of Grand Meadow; his step- children : Kosta and Niko Mercuris, and Melina Neal. Ken is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Bradley Fabian; Jora and Alex Gergen; Parker, Madison and Morgan Kraft; Kristy (Felske) Connors, Jon, and Bryan Felske; RJ Neal; and 3 great-grandchildren: Morgan and Natalie Connors and Henry Felske. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews, and his brother-in-law Russell Spear of California. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Julie.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Thursday(November 5, 2020) at the Stewartville United Methodist Church. Burial and a committal service will take place Friday( November 6, 2020) at Grand Meadow Cemetery in Grand Meadow, MN. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Ken are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com.
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