Cover photo for Fred M. Kraft's Obituary
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Fred M. Kraft

April 21, 1930 — May 29, 2024

Fred M. Kraft

Fred Melloy Kraft, 94, of Lake Park, MN, passed away on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the VA Medical Center, Fargo, ND. He was born April 21, 1930, and was one of 16 children born to Otto and Julia (Roberg) Kraft. He grew up in the Cuba and Fingal, ND, area. On Nov. 11,1948, Fred enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He completed his basic training in San Diego California and was the top marksman in his battalion. From the Marine Corps he transferred to what was then the Army/AirForce. He was stationed in Minneapolis, Mn, where he met Elaine Braseth. On March 3, 1951, they married at Fort Snelling, Mpls. Fred was transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska where he trained and worked as a heavy equipment operator. He was transferred to Savannah, Georgia. As he had four brothers serving in Korea, he was sent to what was then French Morocco. When he returned to Savannah, he enrolled in the air refueling training program and became an air refueler. As an air refueler he served in both SAC (Strategic Air Command) and PAC (Pacific Air Command). In 1969 he was sent to Vietnam, stationed at the airbase in Thailand with the 905th Air Refueling Squadron. He flew 36 combat missions over Vietnam and received the Air Medal. He was praised for his ‘outstanding airmanship and professional competence’.

 After retiring from the Air Force in 1969, Fred moved back to the family farm with his family where he went to school and became a carpenter. He started a construction company with his friend, Marvin Hanson. They built many homes in the Cormorant/ Lake Park area. He continued to farm while working in construction. In 1972, he received Soil Conservation Farmer of the Year for his work in improving the farm. He enjoyed staying active in the community where he served on the Cormorant Township board and was a member of the Cormorant Lions Club.

Fred believed in serving his country, his community and his family. He was always willing to help his neighbors in any way he could. He valued education, both for his family and for himself. He spent time with each of his grandsons teaching them to drive and shoot.

Fred is survived by his daughters, Susan Hambleton of Lake Park, MN, Colleen (Clint) Griffeth of Washington, Tracey (Vasken) Maghakian of California; grandchildren, Kelly (Alysse) Hambleton, Clinton (Kristina) Griffeth, Alex Maghakian, Christopher Maghakian, Krisztina Kakucska; as well as great-grandchildren, Clara and Kaelyn Griffeth, and Naomi and Ariana Hambleton.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine; sons, Fred Marlin Kraft, David Kraft; and grandson, Eric Hambleton. The family wants to recognize the Fargo VA for their outstanding health care over the years and for his care during his last days in the Community Living Care department in the VA.

Celebration of Life will be held at Wright Funeral Home in Hawley, MN on August 3, 2024. Visitation will be from 12:00 – 1:00 PM, followed by the Celebration of Life service at 1:00 PM.

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Fred M. Kraft, please visit our flower store.

Upcoming Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 3, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Wright Funeral Home and Cremation Service- Hawley and Lake Park

404 Leonard St, Hawley, MN 56549

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 3, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Wright Funeral Home and Cremation Service- Hawley and Lake Park

404 Leonard St, Hawley, MN 56549

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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