Marlis “Elaine” Kratz

Marlis “Elaine” Kratz, 93, died Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Oakwood Care Center, Clear Lake.  She was formally of St. Ansgar. 

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 1, at Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, with Pastor Christopher Staley officiating.  Inurnment was in Elwood St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City.  Visitation was held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Friday.

Memorials may be directed to Sharon Maring, 5149 Ingua Trail N.E. Remer, MN 56672, that will be dispersed later to charities close to Elaine’s heart.

Marlis Elaine was born Sept. 29, 1929, in Kellogg, Minn., the daughter of Alvin Edwin and Mabel Carney (Wehrenberg) Gill.  

Elaine grew up in Winona, Minn. graduating from Winona Senior High School.  After graduation she began working in retail.  Elaine and Harold’s love story started while he returned from the United States Navy active duty, Elaine was walking down the street with a package and Harold offered to help.  Elaine and Harold were united in marriage on Feb. 19, 1949; they were blessed with five children. 

Elaine and Harold lived in Winona, Riverside, Calif., Mason City and retired to St. Ansgar.  Elaine worked as a retail buyer for Curries Hardware, helped open the Walmart Nursery and helped Patti and Bob open their hardware store in St. Ansgar.

Elaine loved reading, gardening, canning, walking, baking, cooking and she was a great caretaker to her mother, Mabel.  Elaine was known for her famous sugar cookies, pies and her canned produce.  Elaine and Harold enjoyed the “back road” road trips to get where they were going!  Elaine was a member of the First Lutheran Church, St. Ansgar and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Sharon (William) Maring, Inguadona, Minn., Karol (Charles) Phillips, Eureka Springs, Ark., Robert (Patti) Kratz, Oakland, Ark., Thomas (Dianne) Kratz, Cold Spring, Minn. and Mary (Paul) Curran, West Des Moines, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; along with other relatives and friends.

Elaine is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harold; sister, Donna Harvey; and grandson, Kevin Wagner.

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chape, Clear Lake, is in charge of arrangements.


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