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Paula Ann (Vetsch) Kraft

Aug 21, 2021

Oct. 13, 1938-Aug. 8, 2021

Paula Ann (Vetsch)

Kraft, age 82, entered her

heavenly home on August

8th, 2021 surrounded by

family at the Heart of

America Medical Center

(HAMC) in Rugby ND.

Paula was born October

13, 1938 to Wendell and

Christine (Haman) Vetsch

and was the youngest of

their 4 children. She grew

up on the family farm east

of Towner, attended ele-

mentary school in

Berwick and graduated

from Towner High School

in 1957.

Paula married the love

of her life, Larry Kraft, on

June 9th, 1958 in Towner.

They were blessed with 5

children, 15 grandchil-

dren and 12

great-grandchildren. Paula

and Larry worked on the

Kraft family farm and the

Vetsch family retail busi-

ness when they were first

married. They purchased

the Towner Shoe and

Variety Store from Paula’s

family in 1973 as 3rd gen-

eration owners of the

fieldstone store that was

built by her great- grand-

father Wendelin Haman.

In its day, the store car-

ried the largest selection

of cowboy boots in central

North Dakota, along with

a large selection of toys,

housewares, school sup-

plies, bulk candy, and

sundries. The Kraft girls

and “King David” all

loved working alongside

Larry and Paula in the

store. On Christmas Eve

they were often found

wrapping gifts and serv-

ing Tom and Jerrys late

into the afternoon for the

last-minute shoppers.

Paula always took pride in

her window displays at

Christmas, and she looked

forward to selling fire-

works and building the

store float for the Towner

4th of July parade.

Paula also enjoyed sup-

porting the Towner com-

munity. The Commercial

Club, Towner High

School class reunions,

Cub Scouts, bridge

friends, and the bakery

coffee club were some of

her favorites. She was a

member of St. Cecelia’s

Catholic Church, Little

Flower Catholic Church,

Christian Mothers, and

she was also a CCD teach-

er. In 1985, Paula and Lar-

ry moved to the Kraft fam-

ily farm north of Rugby

where she supported and

worked alongside Larry

and their son David. Paula

was the quintessential

farmers wife who drove

grain truck, nurtured the

animals, and enjoyed

watching the sun set from

the juneberry hills. Paula

had a special touch in

preparing delicious meals

at the Kraft farm and

made sure all were wel-

come around the table for


Paula truly had a

servant’s heart. She assist-

ed children within the

Guardian AD Litem pro-

gram for McHenry County

and cared for residents of

the Haaland Home and

HAMC as a CNA for over

10 years. She was also a

30-year breast cancer sur-

vivor and supported the

Pierce County Relay for

Life. On November 14,

2000 she donated her kid-

ney to her brother, Donald

Vetsch. She loved prepar-

ing holiday meals, baking,

gardening, and perfecting

Larry’s favorite juneberry

pie. Paula’s recipes for

German kuchan and pota-

to salad were family

favorites as well.

Paula’s faith-driven

dedication to her family

and community, along

with her work ethic will

be the legacy carried on

by her family. She was

most proud of her

grandchildren and

great-grandchildren and

enjoyed attending their


She was preceded in

death by: her parents,

Christine and Wendall

Vetsch; brothers, Donald

and Gary Vetsch;


brothers-in-law and a

niece, all who she held

dear to her heart.

She is survived by: her

five children, Karla (Bri-

an) Gunderson; Kari

(Steve) Lysne; Kylene

(Jim) Schall; Kayla (Cory)

Johnson; David (Becky);

Fifteen grandchildren,

Travis, Alissa, Ashley, Ni-

chole, Bethany, Madyson,

Brenton, Kasey, Helen,

Anders, Anna, Lauren,

Collin, Mariann, and

Alex. Twelve


Brielle, Barrett, Benson,

Eila, Gray, Cora, Soren,

Layla, Cydnie, Harlow,

Charlotte and Myles.

Along with her sister,

DonRose Sharkey, special


sister-in-law, many

nieces, nephews, cousins

and special friends.

Our family is most

grateful for the tender

care given to mom by the

staff at the Haaland Home

and HAMC Care Center.

Please send memorials

in honor of Paula to the

Good Samaritan Health

Services Foundation;

Designated to memory

care unit.

Our family is a circle of

strength and Love

With every birth and un-

ion it grows

Every crisis faced to-

gether makes the circle


Mass of Christian buri-

al will be held at 11 a.m.

Monday, August 23rd at

Little Flower Catholic

Church in Rugby with

burial in the church

cemetery. Father John

Aerts, Celebrant and Fa-

ther Tom Graner, Con-

celebrant. Lunch and fel-

lowship will follow the

burial at the Rugby Eagles.

Visitation will be from

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 22nd at

the Little Flower Catholic

Church in Rugby with a

rosary, vigil prayer service

and sharing of memories

beginning at 5:00 p.m. at

the church.

Organist: Laurie Volk

Vocalist: Amber Feickert.

Casket Bearers: Ashley

Berube, Anders Johnson,

Collin Kraft, Travis

Gunderson, Brent Schall

and Alex Kraft.

Honorary Bearers: Nik-

ki Bjornrud, Helen White,

Bethany Pena Madisyn

Neff, Anna Johnson,

Lauren Kraft, Mariann

Kraft, Alissa Gunderson

and Kasey Zaske

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:


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