Richard John Kraft
Aug. 19, 1936 – Jan. 27, 2018
Richard John Kraft, 81, Rugby, died Saturday, January 27, 2018 at his home with family at his side.
Richard was born on August 19, 1936 in Rugby, ND. His parents were George and Christine (Schmaltz) Kraft. He was raised on the family farm and attended most of his school in Rugby. Richard was in the United States Marine Corps from March 14, 1956 to March 13, 1959. He was stationed in San Diego, CA. He graduated from high school while in the Marine Corps at San Pedro Adult School in California.
On September 30, 1959, he married Viola Westgard. From 1960 to 1963, he worked road construction building Interstate 94. The next few years he worked for Pierce County driving a gravel truck. He started a cab business in Rugby and always did small carpentry work on the side. Throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s, he drove truck for Winger Cheese in Towner. For the last 20 years, he drove school bus for Hartley’s in Rugby and became the “go to” guy around the Rugby area if you needed a storage shed.
Richard’s passion came from going on camping and fishing trips with his family and many friends. He enjoyed the trips to Canada with his family and later with friends and grandchildren. Richard also enjoyed travelling to Alaska a few times with Loren to fish and sight see and visit with Dave (a very good friend) who lived in Alaska at the time. He also enjoyed coffee every morning with Kenny and his buddies at Cenex, and appreciated all the help from his neighbor and friend Ken over the years.
Another big part of Richard’s life was when he joined the World-Wide Church of God. He attended 30 annual conventions in a row. This travel took him all over the Un-
ited States and a few countries. Richard would spend hours studying the Bible and read hundreds of his Bible study books over the years. He loved visiting with people about the stories of the Bible.
Richard and Viola were divorced in 1978 but have always remained part of each other’s lives and took care of each other when needed. They were at all family holidays together and traveled together to see their children and grandchildren. The family celebrated Richard’s 80’th birthday together at Lake Sakakawea. It was about that time when Richard started his struggle with cancer. This struggle lasted about a year and a half and Viola was the primary caregiver for Richard over the last few months, right up until the time of his death. He also had great support from his family during this challenging time. The family would like to thank Heart of America-Hospice in Rugby for the wonderful care that Richard received.
Richard is survived by Viola; his 5 sons; Kent, Minot, ND; Keith, Jamestown; ND, Lyle (Becky), Minot; ND, Lance, Bismarck, ND; and Joel (special friend Lydia), Bismarck, ND; grandchildren, Joshua, Tyler, Jesse, Timothy, Dora (Adam) Tschosik, Sadie, Joel Jr. (Mariah) and Zane Kraft, and; 10 great grandchildren; sisters, Genevieve Petry, Long Beach, CA; Eyvonne Guillen, Minot; and Marlene (special friend Don Noltimier) Smith, Penn, ND. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother in law, Henry Guillen.
Celebration of Richard’s life: Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 at 4 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Visitation: One hour prior to the service.
Interment: North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, ND later in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Heart of America-Hospice in Rugby, ND
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