Funeral Program for Howard Russell Kraft
(Monday 6 March 2000, Wolcott CT Congregational Church)
Biographical Sketch [corrected and updated to 2006]
Howard Russell Kraft was born on the second floor of a house on
Woodbine Street in Union City (Naugatuck), the second child of Max Emil
Kraft and Lillian Constance Peterson Kraft. Not long afterwards, the
family moved to East Farms Road in Waterbury, then to Beecher Avenue
where Howard began his schooling at the Mill Plain Elementary (Chase)
School. From there they moved to Giles Street and finally to Lone Oak
Avenue in Waterville. Howard attended Driggs and Walsh schools in that
period. He also acquired three sisters, Lillian, Edna, and Lorraine, to
join older brother Max; brothers George and Donald were born soon after.
In 1925, Howard (nicknamed "Karo") entered Crosby High School, and
graduated in the class of 1929. His classbook biography calls him "a
great athlete" who played for Crosby in 1927-28 "but during the other
three years confined himelf to St. Paul's Church [basketball] quintet,
being among the leading scorers of the league. He expects to continue
sports at Dr. Arnold's Physical Training School and then become a
professional." For various reasons, this ambition was never realized,
although he continued to be active in various sports throughout his
life -- notably basketball, baseball and softball, bowling, golf. Why
not football? The family legend is that his grandmother Peterson forbid
him to play, having seen him return banged and bruised from a game.
Baseball apparently was not a high school sport at Crosby at that time,
although Howard was offered a major league tryout later in his career.
He declined, for family reasons.
While still in High School Howard held various jobs including cleaning
silver at Green Jeweler, driving an oil truck, and working at the A
& P. As the great depression broke upon his world in 1929, Howard
took a job as checker of production in the tube mill at Scovill
Manufacturing Company, and continued at Scovill until his early
retirement in 1971 when he had advanced to the position of
superintendent of mills. After retirement, he remained active by
delivering cars and otherwise helping at Ray's Auto Body in Bristol. He
also was active for many years in the Wolcott volunteer police force
(21 years) and in the Wolcott fire department (60 years), as well as
the Wolcott Congregational Church (40 years).
In November of 1931, Howard married Marian Augusta Northrop of Mill
Plain, and soon thereafter they took up residence on Spindle Hill in
Wolcott, first occupying the Seth Thomas house on nearby Peterson Lane,
while building a small house which was destined to become the garage
when they later moved into the newly built main house (1938).
Three boys were born to them during this period of home building --
Charles (1932), Robert (1934), and David (1942). Sharon came along a
few years later (1947), to round out the family. In the course of his
life, Howard and Marian enjoyed welcoming 13 grandchildren and 20
great-grandchildren into the expanding family, many of whom were
present for this service..
For the past four decades or so, Howard and Marian have spent several
weeks each Thanksgiving time vacationing in Daytona Beach, Florida, in
addition to frequent visits with their children, other relatives, and
friends, in their various locations from coast to coast.
It was in Florida that Howard suffered a heart attack a few years ago,
and another this past December, which considerably compromised his
physical health. He contracted pneumonia in February and died in the
Waterbury Hospital on the morning of March 4th with his wife and
children at his bedside. We remember him and honor his memory on this
How do we describe you to ourselves?
Now that you have left us,
what recollections should abide?
History is what the historians make it.
We are your historians now,
so what are we to say
What terms will make most sense
in the crossword puzzle of your life?
Strong you were, a rock, reliable,
dependable, responsible, our Gibraltar!
Resourceful, skilled, and clever --
if not so much with words, truly with deeds!
Competitive, athletic, driven to succeed,
yet not without compassion and integrity!
Frugal almost to a fault; no frills;
and in the paths of life, no nonsense!
Friend of many, flirtatious with some,
beloved of children, who felt the warmth;
Yet also very private, self-contained,
at times a walled fortress, impervious.
Socially aware? Yes. Opinionated too.
seeking an ideal world, elusive 'tho it is.
Our father! Not always knowing how,
but always dedicated to the process
and ever in our hearts beloved for it.
"Say not that good men die, they only sleep" --
thus reads an ancient epitaph from Greece --
so now sleep on in peace, as you live on in us.
RAK 5 March 2000
Pallbearers and Honorary Pallbearers: the Grandchildren
Children of Charles Howard Kraft and Marguerite Gerhart
Charles Eldon Kraft
Cheryl Elaine Kraft Martell
Richard Lee Kraft
Karen Louise Kraft Schneider
Children of Robert Alan Kraft and Carol Wallace
Cindy Lee Kraft Shapiro
Scott Wallace Kraft
Todd Alan Kraft
Randall Jay Kraft
Children of David Peterson Kraft and Stephanie Barlett
Claire Elizabeth Kraft
Paul David Kraft
Children of Sharon Ann Kraft and Peer Lund
Rachel Sharon Kraft-Lund
Christopher Warren Lund
Kelly Lund Goller
[This obituary appeared in the Waterbury Sunday paper, 5 March 2000]
Howard R. Kraft
Scovill mill superintendent
WOLCOTT -- Howard Russell Kraft, 88, of 544 Spindle Hill Road
died Saturday, March 4, at Waterbury Hospital. He was the husband of
Marian (Northrop) Kraft.
Mr. Kraft was born May 10, 1911, in Naugatuck, son of the late
Max E. Kraft and Lilly C. Peterson of Waterville. He was a graduate of
Crosby High School, Class of 1929, and was active locally in various
connections, most notably the sports world (football, baseball,
softball, basketball, bowling, and golf), the Wolcott police (21 years)
and fire departments (60 years), and Wolcott Congregational Church (40
years). He worked at Scovill Manufacturing Co. for 42 years until early
retirement in 1971, having advanced to Superintendant of Mills.
Besides his wife, he leaves three sons, Charles H. Kraft of
South Pasadena, Calif., Robert A. Kraft of Ambler, Pa., and David P.
Kraft of Amherst, Mass.; a daughter Sharon A. Kraft-Lund of Center
Barnstead, N.H.; 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; three
sisters, Lillian Hassenfeldt of Naugatuck, Edna Peden, formerly of
Waterbury and now of Goshen, and Lorraine Stephens of Cheshire, and two
brothers, George Kraft of Lewiston, N.Y., and Donald Kraft of
Arrangements: Funeral 2 p.m. Monday in Wolcott Congregational
Church. Calling hours 6 to 8 p.m. today at Alderson Funeral Home of
Waterbury, 70 Central Ave. Burial: Edgewood Cemetery, Wolcott.
Contributions: Memorial fund at Wolcott Congregational Church.