Ferdinand "Fred" Kraft, 73, Bismarck, passed away Jan. 4, 2018, at a Florida hospital.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, at Church of Corpus Christi, Bismarck, with the Rev. Paul Becker as celebrant. Burial will be at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with a rosary and parish vigil at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday.
Fred was born June 5, 1944, in Minot, the son of Fred and Jenny (Merck) Kraft. He was raised and educated in Karlsruh, where he graduated high school in 1961. After high school he attended college at Minot State University where he was proud to play for their football team. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business education in 1965. He was one of the few with a lifetime teaching certificate and was very proud of that. Upon graduation he was offered a teaching and coaching position at Mohall High School. He taught and coached for the Yellow Jackets for three years until he was drafted to serve with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Fred proudly served his country from June 1968 to January 1970. Serving directly under General Abrams, Central Commander. Upon returning home from Vietnam, Fred taught and coached in Crosby. From Crosby he moved to Bismarck to work for the State Outdoor Recreation Department. During his time in Bismarck a blind date was arranged by his brother and sister-in-law, which resulted in him meeting the love of his life, Della (Hauck-Duchscher). Fred and Della married Nov. 5, 1971, in Minot, enjoying a loving marriage for 46 years. The couple was blessed with five children, Sandy, Sheila, Angie, Ryan, and Mark.
In 1976, Fred went into business for himself starting Fred’s furniture (later known as Eastdale Furniture) in Bismarck. Fred owned and operated his furniture store until 1983. From the furniture store, he went to work for the Diocese of Bismarck until 1985 when he decided that being a business owner was his true calling. All his life Fred has been known as a dreamer. One of those dreams came to life as Northland Auction and Storage. He retired from Northland Auction and Storage in January 2011.
Fred was a Eucharistic minister for the homebound for 30 years. He volunteered his time freely in youth formation classes with Church of Corpus Christi. Fred had a love for all sports especially the Minnesota Twins and the New England Patriots. He coached youth basketball and soccer, and rarely missed an event his kids and grandkids were involved in. Fred was very athletic himself and was a tri-state champion power lifter. Fred was an active golfer and was the lead fundraiser for Prairie West Golf Course. In fact, the main reason Fred purchased a home in The Villages, Fla., was so that he could golf year round. He was an auctioneer and loved substitute teaching, he worked for Weigel Funeral Home and liked volunteering his time mowing at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery (Fred loved mowing). Charity was very important to Fred. Donating to many charities – some of his favorites were the American Heart Association and the new St. Mary’s High School. He was also proud to have served as president of Parish Council and N.D. Self Storage Association.
Fred was a very prayerful man with a strong belief in the Rosary. He was a teacher and mentor to the very end. Blessed to have shared his life are his wife, Della, Bismarck; daughters, Sandy (Eric) Vogel, Mandan, Sheila (Craig) Geffre, Angie (Shannon) Mosolf, both of Bismarck; sons, Ryan Kraft, Bismarck, and Mark (Lindsey) Kraft, Gilroy, Calif. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Trey and Collin Grumann, Mandan, Madysen and Ashtyn Mosolf, Bismarck, Ethan Geffre, Bismarck, and Sawyer, Rhys and Remy Kraft, Gilroy; step-grandchildren, Morgan (Jordan) Vogel-Mason, Fargo, and Bryce Vogel, Minneapolis; his sisters, Alice Gustafson, Helena, Mont., Jean Gefroh, Bismarck, and Colette (Woody) Hamele, Papillion, Neb.; his brother, Jim (Eileen) Kraft, Minot; sisters-in-law, Gerri Kraft, Grand Forks, and Betty Kraft, Karlsruhe; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Jenny Kraft; his sisters, Anges Kraft, Victoria Krueger, and Hedwiga Kraft; his brothers, Arnold Kraft, Boneventure Kraft, Claire Kraft, and David Kraft.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Corpus Christi Food Pantry.
Go to www.weigelfuneral.com to sign the online guest book and view tribute photos.