Dennis Claude Kraft, 81, of Aberdeen, passed away Sunday, January 26, 2020, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD. His wishes were to be cremated.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, February 1, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 409 3rd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, with Father Mark Lichter, Celebrant.
Burial will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Aberdeen at a later date.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen is in charge of arrangements.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, January 31st, at the mortuary, with a liturgical wake service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour prior to Mass at the church on Saturday.
Family and friends may sign Dennis’ online guestbook and also view his service via the live stream service link at www.schriversmemorial.com.
Dennis “Denny” Claude Kraft was born in Pierre, SD on March 24, 1938, to Elias “Al” and Besse (Niesen) Kraft. He was raised in Aberdeen, SD and attended school at Sacred Heart Parochial School, graduating from Aberdeen Central High School in 1956. Dennis attended Northern State Teachers College where he played football, earned a degree in education, and met Ruth Ritter.
Dennis and Ruth were married August 8, 1959. They taught in Lemmon, SD, Hosmer, SD and Ipswich, SD before making their home in Aberdeen, where they raised four children. Dennis earned his Master’s Degree at Northern State College and his Doctorate of Education at the University of Wyoming. The family moved to Missoula, MT in 1982. Dennis enjoyed a rewarding career in education where his motto was, “Will it meet the needs of the students?” He was named as an Outstanding Administrator in both South Dakota and Montana and was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus at Northern State University in 2004. He retired in 1997 after serving as superintendent of schools in Aberdeen, Missoula and River Falls, WI. Ruth passed away in 2009. Dennis was united in marriage to Priscilla Wyly on July 31, 2010.
Dennis had a life-long love of hunting, sports, the outdoors, traveling, reading, playing gin rummy, and, at the end of the day, a good pair of moccasins. Dennis loved being a father and grandfather and enjoyed watching all of their activities.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Priscilla Kraft of Aberdeen; his children: Kelly Kraft (Eugene Griffin) of Kinshasa, DRC, Alan Kraft (Robyn Krause) of Fargo, ND, Barbara (Darron) Orr of Ypsilanti, ND and Jennifer (Troy) Fornstrom of Denver, CO; grandchildren: McKayla, Meghan, Gage and Madelyn Orr, Reganne and Reid Fornstrom, and Julia and Maya Krause; step-children: Allen (Sheila) Gates of CA and Jennifer (John) Whitman of Farmington, MN and their children, Lauren, Danielle, Veronica, Brittany and John; his brother, Alan (Denise) Kraft of Brainerd, MN; his sister, Mayren (Jack) DeCrans of Burnsville, MN; brothers-in-law: Norman Ritter of Wichita, KS, Charles (Glenda) Ritter of Springfield MO, Ed Stader of Rapid City, SD and Jerry (Helen) Eckrich of Aberdeen; sisters-in-law: Betty Skidmore of Manhattan, KS, Pam Osgood of Lee’s Summit, MO and Rhonda Moeser of Midland, MI; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dennis is preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Ruth; his parents; his brother, Kenny Kraft; his sisters, Jackie Vezzoli and Marlyce Stader; brothers-in-law: Jake Vezzoli, Chuck Skidmore and Keith Burns; and sisters-in-law, Bonnie Burns and Juanita Ritter.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Dennis and Ruth Kraft Education Endowment Fund at Northern State University, 620 15th Avenue SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401 or you may make an online contribution at https://apps.northern.edu/givingapp/givenow.aspx.
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Dennis and Ruth Kraft Education Endowment Fund - Northern State University
620 15th Avenue SE, Aberdeen SD 57401