Donald J. “Don” Kraker, 91

KrakerDonaldWEBDonald J. “Don” Kraker, age 91 of Melrose, died Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the CentraCare Nursing Home in Melrose, Minnesota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating and Rev. Ken Thielman concelebrating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Military Honors provided by the Melrose Veterans Honor Guard.

Visitation will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday morning at the church.

Donald Joseph Kraker was born June 17, 1922 in Melrose, Minnesota to Alphonse and Wilhelmina (Schwegmann) Kraker. After graduating from Melrose High School in 1940, Don moved to Washington D.C. and worked for the Veterans Administration. He entered active service with the military on January 28, 1943 during World War II. He served as a Rifleman in the 386th Infantry, 97th Division in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Don participated in the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns. From April 24, 1945 until May 9, 1945, he was a prisoner of war in Eger, Germany (Sudetenland). On January 18, 1946 Don was given an Honorable Discharge, and received a Good Conduct Medal and a Purple Heart Medal.

After the war, Don moved to St. Paul and worked for the Veterans Affairs at Fort Snelling as an Insurance Underwriter. Don spent many weekends coming to Melrose to visit his parents, his brothers, Jack and Joe, and their families. After retirement, Don moved back to Melrose. Don spent a lot of his free time traveling. Don’s travels included frequent trips to Granite City, Illinois to visit his sister Mary Louise and family. He enjoyed traveling by tour bus across the country, trips to the State and World Fairs and casino trips as well. Don was gentle-natured and very generous. He loved spending time with family and friends. Don will always be remembered for his love for dogs and the smile and laughter they brought him. He resided at Pine Villa for the last seven years.

Don was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose, Schanhaar-Otte VFW Post 7050 and the American Legion Post 101.

Survivors include his sister-in-law, Lorraine Kraker of Melrose; 21 nieces and nephews; and lifelong friend, Clyde Tise of Melrose.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John “Jack” Kraker and Joseph (Florence) Kraker; sister, Mary Louise (Forrest) Swan; and niece, Anne Kraker.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.