Kenneth L. “Ken” Kraus

Kenneth L. “Ken” Kraus, 96, Omaha, Neb., died Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Omaha.

He was born Feb. 8, 1925, in Hays to Carl and Sadie (Wilson) Kraus. He was a 1943 graduate of Hays High School.

He married Dorothy “Dottie” Harris on June 1, 1947, in Hays, and they celebrated 73 years of marriage. He was a farmer and dairyman for most of his life.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and served on many committees. He belonged to the Hays Lion’s Club and served as their vice president and president. He served on the board of the Hays Farmers Coop and was chairmen of Epworth Towers a senior living apartment. He also served on the board of the Hays Plaza Apartments serving low-income families.

He has received many recognitions for a lifetime farming career. He was chairman of the Ellis County Dairy Board and on the board of the Ellis County Dairy Herd Improvement. He was director of Southern Region Association Milk Producers, was elected to United Dairy Industry board of directors, and named to the Dairy Research Inc. Project Security Committee.  

Awards received during his lifetime as a dairyman were, the Balance Farming and Family for county and state, Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Farmer award, and Ellis County Conversation award in addition to the Distinguished Dairyman award. In 1982, he was awarded the Kansas Master Farmer award. This same achievement was also given to his father, Carl, in 1928.

Survivors include his wife, Omaha; a son, Steve Kraus and wife, Pattie, Atlanta; a daughter, Pam Henrickson and husband, Gordon, Omaha; two grandchildren, Aaron (Ruthie) Henrickson and Emily Kraus; a great-grandchild, Nate Jarrow; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Eldon, John, Warren, and Harold; and a sister, Dorothy Bemis.

A celebration of life will be 10 a.m. Monday at Hays First United Methodist Church, Hays; burial in Fort Hays Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday at the church.  

Memorials are suggested to Hays First United Methodist Church for the children’s or youth ministry, in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine, Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences can be sent to the family at

Posted online on February 25, 2021