Harold G. Kraus, Sr., 89, Hays, died Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at HaysMed.
He was born February 3, 1931 in Hays, the son of Carl and Sadie (Wilson) Kraus. He graduated from Hays High School in 1949. Harold attended Fort Hays State University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from the University of Kansas in 1955. He was a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, a United States Naval Aviator during the Korean War, and his aircraft patrolled in the Atlantic during the Cold War. On May 5, 1960 he was united in marriage to Marilyn Wilson in Caldwell, New Jersey. She preceded him in death in 1967. On December 8, 1968 he was united in marriage to Virginia Russell in Atwood, and they celebrated 51 years of marriage. He was a farmer for 45 years, and his memberships included the First United Methodist Church, where he was an usher for 50 years, and the Hays Rotary Club for 53 years, where he received the Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Harold was an Ellis County Commissioner for 16 years, served on the National Bio Diesel Board for 12 years, served on the Kansas Soybean Commission for 13 years, was a Kansas Master Farmer in the class of 1998, and hosted Kids Ag Day at the Kraus farm every September for 18 years. He enjoyed history, finding Indian artifacts on his farmland, and being in nature, birds, wildflowers, and teaching his family about nature. He developed the Kraus fishing pond and was an avid reader of history, biographies, and military history.
Survivors include his wife; Virginia of the home in Hays, five sons; Harold Kraus, Jr. and wife Cindy of Manhattan, Charles Kraus and wife Jenifer of Hays, Kurt Kraus and wife Marie of Tulsa, OK, Paul Kraus and wife Suzzette of Erie, CO, and Lance Russell and wife Cathy of Hays, a daughter; Ellen Pratt and husband Harry Joe of Hoxie, a brother; Kenneth Kraus and wife Dorothy of Omaha, NE, 14 grandchildren; Thomas Kraus, Lena Kraus, Lucas Kraus, Greta Kraus, Emma Rose Kraus, Julia Kraus, Cate Kraus, Henry Kraus, Lyle Russell, Brooke Russell, Fred Pratt and wife Raquelle, Jesse Franich and husband Tyler, Karl Pratt, and Danielle Pratt, five great grandchildren; Lydia Pratt, Ariel Pratt, Virginia Pratt, Trevyn Pratt, and Van Franich, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers; John, Warren, and Eldon Kraus, and a sister; Dorothy Bemis.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm until 7:00 on Friday, May 22, 2020 at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home. A public Celebration of Harold’s Life and inurnment at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery with military honors by the Hays VFW Honor Guard Post #9076, will be at a later date when there are no longer gathering restrictions. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the First United Methodist Church or to the Ellis County Historical Society, in care of the funeral home. Condolences and memories of Harold may be shared with the family at www.haysmemorial.com