ELMER MATTHEW KRAFT
November 10, 1933 ˜ July 10, 2019
Elmer Kraft passed away peacefully in his sleep on what would have been his 65th wedding anniversary to his loving wife, Kathleen, on July 10, 2019. Born to Fred and Philamina Kraft on November 10, 1933 in Bismarck, North Dakota, he was the second of three children. Elmer started school in the 2nd grade, refusing to leave the side of his older sister, Bernice. German was the only language spoken at home early on. The family left for California in the early 40’s, stopping in Montana for a short time. On the road again, they didn’t make it past Vancouver, Washington, falling in love with the beauty of Washington and the rest of the Great Northwest. (And I thank God every day for that.) Elmer graduated from Vancouver High School in 1951.
He joined the National Guard in 1950 with his high school buddies and served until 1959.
Elmer married Kathleen on July 10, 1954, being the very first couple to marry in the St. Joseph Catholic Church on a Saturday, one day before the first mass.
They had three children, Michael, Patrick and his pride and joy, Janice. Elmer was always there for his family. Coaching Little League thru Babe Ruth. He didn’t know much about baseball when he took on the 1st team but he learned fast and did a wonderful job. By the time Babe Ruth came around, he was one of the best. We camped, we fished, we did everything. He was a selfless father who always put his family first. He loved his church and served as an usher for many years.
Elmer retired as an Instrument Technician and Supervisor in the Machine Shop for Moore Dry Kiln and Coe Manufacturing, manufacturers of veneer dryers.
He was a member of the Machinists Union Local 1482, the Teamsters Union, and a member of the Knights of Columbus, where he served as their Grand Knight.
Elmer was instrumental in the Vancouver Sausage Fest from the onset. He and Patrick built the first entrance to the Beer Garden in our back yard. He designed every one of the Beer Steins for the Sausage Fest, as art was a passion for him.
Elmer was also a member of the Elks and enjoyed his pinochle night at the club. He also looked forward to his weekly Friday morning breakfast with his friends at Sheri’s. Elmer enjoyed trips to Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City as well as Ilani in Ridgefield. He loved the Mariners and the Trail Blazers.
Elmer was blessed with so many wonderful friends. People we will never forget. If our Dad counted you as a friend, you are truly special and God’s gift to him and the Kraft family.
Elmer is survived by his sons, Michael Kraft (Mandy) and Patrick Kraft; daughter, Janice Samander (Jeff); and three grandsons, Jason, Sean and Nicholas Kraft. We love you Dad and Grandpa. We will never forget you.
On Monday, July 22, 2019, a Viewing/Rosary will be held at 10a.m., a Mass at 11a.m. with a luncheon to follow at 12p.m., at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Please sign his guest book @ www.columbian.com/obits