homepage logo

Larry James Kraft

Dec 8, 2020

Jan. 9, 1938 – Nov. 26, 2020

Larry James Kraft, age

82 of Rugby, North Dakota

entered his heavenly

home on Thursday, No-

vember 26, 2020 at the

Heart of America Care

Center in Rugby. He was

born January 9, 1938 to

Walter and Helen (Mat-

tern) Kraft and was the

youngest of their five chil-

dren. As a child he grew

up on the Kraft family

farm north of Rugby, at-

tending Little Flower

School and graduated

from Rugby High School.

He completed his educa-

tion at Minot State Teach-

ers College.

Larry married the love

of his life, Paula Ann

Vetsch on June 9, 1958 in

Towner, North Dakota.

The couple have been

blessed with 5 children,

15 grandchildren and 12


They both worked in the

family’s farming and retail

business when they were

first married and eventu-

ally purchased Towner

Shoe & Variety Store from

Paula’s family in 1974.

They became the third

generation to operate the

family store on Main

Street in Towner. Larry

was committed to sup-

porting the Towner com-

munity and was active in

many community organi-

zations including the

Towner Commercial Club,

the Towner Volunteer

Firefighters, and the Jay-

cees. He was also an ac-

tive member of St. Cecilia

Catholic Church. In 1985,

Larry and Paula moved to

Larry’s childhood farm

north of Rugby where

they championed the fam-

ily farming operation

founded by his father.

Larry, Paula, and their

son, David worked to-

gether to grow the opera-

tion by embracing indus-

try changes with innova-

tive practices and

pioneering crop manage-

ment. Their work was

recognized by the North

Dakota Soil Conservation

Award in 1998 and the

NDSU Harvest Bowl

Award in 2018. David

and his family will con-

tinue the Kraft Farms


Larry was a dedicated

farmer and businessman.

He was well known to be

a slow but masterful sto-

ryteller and jokester. He

was a loving husband, fa-

ther, grandfather,

great-grandfather, brother,

uncle, and friend. He was

the ultimate prankster and

loved making people

laugh, while sharing his

knee-slapping gesture that

we are surely going to

miss. Some of his favorite

trips included camping

adventures in Yellow-

stone and ski trips to

Colorado. He and Paula

also enjoyed traveling

with lifelong friends to

Las Vegas and Hawaii. He

was a devoted Father,

teaching his beloved

Christian faith to his fami-

ly, dedicated to his com-

munity, and strongly be-

lieved in the value of hard


Upon returning to Rug-

by, Larry became a

member of Little Flower

Catholic Church, the

Knights of Columbus and

was most proud of his

Catholic German Heritage.

He loved attending and

enjoyed his

grandchildren’s sporting

events along with a good

bag of popcorn. Larry was

a collector of vintage John

Deere tractors and would

often drive them in the

Rugby 4th of July parades.

He loved the family gath-

erings and will be fondly

remembered by his chil-

dren and grandchildren

for making every Christ-

mas an experience to

remember. Whether it

was a livestock manger

scene in the barn, or a

wagon ride pulled by a

team of horses, these

“Grandpa” memories will

live on in his legacy for

them all.

Most recently, health

challenges brought Larry

and Paula to make their

home at the Haaland

Estates in Rugby, and Lar-

ry remained a resident

there up until his Death.

He quickly made new

friends and reacquainted

with old friends during

this time. Larry enjoyed a

cup of coffee while rolling

dice at the North Side, or

a card game at the Estates.

He was a loving caregiver

to Paula and spent most of

his time with her, sharing

the memories of their lov-

ing family and the good

days in Towner and at the


He is survived by his

wife of 63 years, Paula; 5

children, Karla (Brian)

Gunderson, Kari (Steve)

Lysne, Kylene (Jim)

Schall, Kayla (Cory) John-

son and David (Becky)

Kraft; 15 grandchildren;

12 great-grandchildren; a

brother Melvin (Janet)

Kraft; a sister, Beatrice

(David) Leach; special

aunt, Theresa

Mattern-Gronvold; many

nieces, nephews, other re-

latives; and a host of

many special friends. He

was preceded in death by

his parents and sisters,

Delores (Bill) Putnam and

Julies (Mike) Odegard.

Our deepest apprecia-

tion and thanks to the

Haaland Estates and

HAMC care teams for

their tender care for Larry

and their continuing care

for our mother, Paula.

Memorials in his memory

may be directed to the

Good Samaritan Heath

Services Foundation, C/O

the Heart of America

Medical Center – 800 S.

Main Ave., Rugby – Attn:

Larry Kraft Memorial

A Private Family

Memorial Mass of Chris-

tian Burial will be held

Saturday, December 5th at

11:00 a.m. at the Little

Flower Catholic Church

in Rugby with public

burial at 12:15 p.m. in the

Church cemetery. Father

Franklin Miller, Cele-


Special Honorary Bear-

ers: Larry’s dice & card

playing buddies

Honorary Urn Bearers:

His Grandchildren

For the safety of all,

please be aware of the Co-

vid-19 restrictions includ-

ing social distancing,

hand hygiene, staying at

home if feeling ill and fa-

cial masks are mandatory.

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:



Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page