Mass of Christian burial for Herman Kraft, 82, of Timber Lake will be at 11 a.m. MDT, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Timber Lake. Burial will be at Timber Lake Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the church. Herman passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at the Mobridge Regional Hospital.
Herman A. Kraft was born Aug. 23, 1930, to Jacob and Elizabeth (Reis) Kraft in Glencross, the eighth of 16 children. He passed away on Dec. 15, 2012. He attended grade school in Glencross and high school in Timber Lake.
Herman enlisted in the army in October 1948, and was discharged in October 1949. He was called back into active service in October 1950, and served in Korea. He was discharged in August 1951.
He married Joyce Majorowicz on Nov. 22, 1951. They made their home in the Timber Lake area, where they were involved in farming and ranching. He worked for the U. S. Postal Service for 37 years as a rural mail carrier, retiring in 1990.
After retiring, Herman taught himself the art of blacksmithing. He became well known for his Damascus knives and iron crosses. He donated many knives for local benefits and fundraisers. Through the North Dakota and South Dakota Council of Arts, he taught nine students to make Damascus knives and iron crosses. With the help of Ervin Keller, he made iron crosses for 16 unmarked children's graves in the Glencross cemetery.
Herman was a lifelong learner and teacher. Herman was a great historian. He researched local veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War because he believed combat veterans were heroes. He did this by phone calls, locating grave markers and knocking on people's doors. He had interest in museums, old cemeteries and history. He was instrumental in building the Museum Blacksmith Shop with Walt Johnson and others. He taught many young people the art of rope making which he really enjoyed. Through his many adventures he made many friends.
Herman is survived by his wife, Joyce, Timber Lake; his children: Maxine Johnson, Bismarck, N.D., Richard (Caryn), Sitka, Alaska, Kathryn Kraft, Pierre, Karen Kraft, Timber Lake, Alvin (Sherry), Alliance, Neb., and Karyl Kraft (Mary), Minneapolis, Minn.; 15 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and siblings: Edith Scherer, Marie Klein, Idora Wortman, Helen Bracken, Fred Kraft, Jack Kraft and Dave Kraft.
Herman was preceded in death by his parents; sons: Michael and Monte; son-in-law, Kevin Johnson; great-grandson, Kayden Kraft; his brothers: Claudia (killed in WWII), Francis "Butch", Tony, Edward, Gene, Andy, Dick; and his sister, Eleanor.
Herman embraced his faith in God and was a member of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Timber Lake Historical Society and American Legion. He was on the Board of Directors of Western Dakota Bank.
Herman was a gentle quiet man with a great love for his wife, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His love and time was also given to his siblings, nieces and nephews and all those who called him grandpa and friend. He was always planning his next adventure and project.