Life Story for Richard Donald Kraatz
Richard Donald Kraatz passed away peacefully at his home on May 31st, 2017 at age 67.
Richard was born on June 30th, 1949 in Detroit Michigan. He married his high school sweet heart Christine Ellen Martin in 1968 and had two daughters Michelle and Heather.
He attended Hillsdale College in Michigan where he played football. He was then drafted and played professionally for the Denver Broncos. He moved out west and worked for a PVC pipe company that his father in law started. Once he started his family he settled in Yakima, Washington where he built a home and worked as an orchardist.
He was always been an entrepreneur at heart, manufacturing ski boot dryers, snow tillers for x-country skiing and later -starting an electric bike company called Kilowatt.
Richard always had a passion for the mountains and especially loved the Cascades. He raised his girls to ski race at White Pass where he was on ski patrol. He had traveled with the family to Sun Valley for many holidays and finally it drew him to re-locate. At first it was just Richard and Chris then Michelle after college then Heather from Seattle after college.
Michelle and Heather both met their husbands in Ketchum and the adventure
really began and Richard had two boys he could play with. Then came the grandchildren that filled his heart with so much joy and happiness. He was an amazing grandfather that the kids adored.
Richard had so many passions it was hard to keep track of at times. Skiing, Hunting, Ranches, Horses, Sailing, Fast Cars, and so much more.
He is survived by his wife Christine Kraatz, his Daughter Michelle Ferris and her husband Tyler Ferris and their daughters Madison and Hannah and his younger daughter Heather Minor and her husband Hank Minor and their children Wyatt and Tatum Minor, and His brother Michael Kraatz from Canaan, New Hampshire.
He was proceeded in death by his Father Alvin Kraatz and his mother Virginia Uygur.
Thank you for all that you were and for always making us laugh and bringing a smile to our faces. You were so strong and brave until the end and taught us so much. You will be missed beyond words but we will look for you on the snowy mountains, in the blue waters and in the fields full of birds and everywhere else.
Please send donations to:
The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter
9929 Hibert St Suite A
San Diego CA 92131