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Merlin Kratz

August 12, 1925 July 8, 2019
Merlin Kratz
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Obituary for Merlin Kratz

Merlin Chester Kratz, age 93 of Cresco, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 8, 2019 at Evan’s Memorial Home in Cresco, Iowa with his family by his side.   

Merlin Kratz was born August 12, 1925 to Wesley and Olive (Natvig) Kratz on a farm southeast of Cresco, Iowa.  He attended rural grade school and graduated from Cresco High School in 1943. On September 12, 1950, Merlin married JoAnne Henkes at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cresco.  This past September they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Merlin and JoAnne were blessed with one daughter, Jane.

Following graduation, Merlin was drafted at the age of eighteen into the United States Army.  While in the Army, Merlin attended Paratrooper School in Fort Benning, Georgia. On his 20th birthday, Merlin was aboard the third airplane to land in Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped.  He witnessed all the devastation first hand during the Army Occupation of Japan. Merlin received his honorable discharge on April 24, 1946. After returning home from the war, Merlin began working for Hawkeye Tri County REC and was employed there until his retirement in 1988.  Merlin was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cresco, serving on the church council as well as other committees. He was a member of the American Legion for 66 years. Merlin was also a member of the Howard County Historical Society.

In his early years, Merlin enjoyed hunting and fishing, both locally and in Canada.  He was skilled in fine woodworking, making and refinishing many pieces of furniture for family and friends.  Merlin often donated wood items to various organizations, such as Immanuel Lutheran Church, Regional Health Services of Howard County, Cresco Public Library, and Howard County Historical Society.  He and JoAnne enjoyed traveling, antiquing, and flower gardening, but most of all being with family and friends.

Merlin is survived by his wife, JoAnne; daughter Jane (Kirk) Benda of Woodstock, IL; grandson Brandon (Kristi) Benda of Woodstock, IL; granddaughter Brennae (Torrence) Wright of Garland, TX; great-granddaughter Brynleigh Benda and twin great-grandchildren Keaston and Kaleigha Wright; sister Norma Haueter of Thousand Oaks, CA;  brother Harvey Kratz of Woodbine, MD; sisters-in-law Marcella Keune and Mary Lou Murray of Cresco, IA; and many nieces and nephews.

Merlin was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Arnold Kratz and sister-in-law Shirley Kratz; his sister Eleanor Sovereign and brother-in-law Oak Sovereign;  brothers-in-law Dale Keune and Raymond Murray; and sisters-in-law Gloria Kratz and Hazel Kratz.  

Memorials may be directed to Oak Lawn Cemetery, Howard County Hospice, or the donor's choice.


To plant a tree in memory of Merlin Kratz, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

13

Jul

10:00 AM 7/13/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 7/13/2019 11:00:00 AM
Immanuel Lutheran Church

305 2nd Ave. W.
Cresco, IA 52136

Immanuel Lutheran Church
305 2nd Ave. W. Cresco 52136 IA
United States

Service

Saturday

13

Jul

11:00 AM 7/13/2019 11:00:00 AM
Immanuel Lutheran Church

305 2nd Ave. W.
Cresco, IA 52136

Immanuel Lutheran Church
305 2nd Ave. W. Cresco 52136 IA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Oak Lawn Final Resting Place

95th Street
Cresco, IA 52136

95th Street Cresco 52136 IA
United States
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