Emmett Kratzke


Kratzke webEmmett Kratzke age 87 of Wabasso passed away Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the Golden Living Center in Wabasso. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 17 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Wabasso. Visitation is 4:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday at the church and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Burial is in Bethany Lutheran Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Emmett Lorenz Kratzke was born October 27, 1927 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Lorenz and Rachel (Douglas) Kratzke. He was baptized on April 22, 1928 and confirmed in May 1944. Emmett graduated from Wabasso High School in 1946 and served in the US Army from 1950 to 1952. On July 25, 1954 he married JoAnne Fitzgerald at Bethany Lutheran Church in Arco. Emmett worked for Farm Bureau from 1948 to 1962 and owned and operated a Standard Oil station from 1962 to 1993. He was a school bus driver for 48 years. Emmett was a member of the fire department for 31 years. He was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church for many years. Emmett enjoyed walking, watching high school sports, and was an avid Twins fan.

Emmett is survived by his children: Peter Kratzke of Fargo, ND, Mary Brandt of Revere, Ruth (Gary) Theroux of Mankato, and Paul (Dawn) Kratzke of Gaylord; grandchildren: Stephanie and Justin Brandt, Rachel (Steve) Kamm and Travis Theroux, and Tyler and Amelia Kratzke; great-grandchildren: Thor, Dakota, Alexis, and Gavin; sisters-in-law Shirley Zimmer of Redwood Falls, Shirley Fitzgerald of Fairfax, and Mary Furgeson of Lynd; four nieces; seven nephews; and Ricarda (Robbie Struys) Jenniges, who was like a daughter to him. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife JoAnne, brother James Kratzke, sisters Janis Johnson and Maryanne Kratzke, brother-in-law Jack Fitzgerald, and nephews Tim Johnson and Jimmy Kratzke.


  1. Dawn Cronin says:

    My thoughts and prayers for comfort to you and the rest of your family. What great memories you have of your many visits with your dad to have coffee, get a haircut, lunches and numerous car rides. What a blessing to have gotten to share so much time together! I am sure each visit was treasured by the both of you.


  2. Ken & Margaret Swanson says:

    Emmett’s family,
    Our sympathy to you all.
    Ken graduated with JoAnne so have seen each other off & on over the years here in Ivanhoe or for coffee or a basketball game in Wabasso. Even after JoAnne died, I remember visiting with Emmett at a game in Wabasso … this was after he was in the Assisted Living … he said he had walked over to watch the game! Told him I’d give him a ride home after the game & he said no … he needed the exercise & it wasn’t far! A dedicated fan!
    Ken just got out of the hospital so we won’t be able to attend funeral, but please know that our thoughts & prayers are with you all. He had the most wonderful smile!
    Ken & Margaret Swanson

  3. Elmer&Wanda Brandt says:

    we are thinking of you at this time of your loved one being taken from you. we have had good times over the years when we would gather for birthday parties in the family. we will be praying for your family
    Elmer and Wanda Brandt

  4. Butch Woelfel says:

    You are in our prayers. I got to know Emmett when i grew up across the street. If i remember correctly my Dad built your house. Whenever i would go over to see Paul to ask if he could play tennis, baseball, etc Emmett was often there to greet me at the door. He was always very kind, and i know he loved his family very much.
    I remember stopping at his gas station as well with my dad and Emmett would always have a treat for me. Dad would tell him he didnt need to do that, Emmett would just say ” I know” and do it anyway. Paul was one of my best friends growing up and was the Pastor at my wedding. Great guy! Paul, you and your family are in our prayers. God Bless you!

  5. Kelly Berg says:

    You family is in our thoughts and prayers. My dad drove bus with Emmett for many years and could often be found having coffee with him at one of the cafe’s around town. Paul was one of my best friends during school and we had a great time playing sports together, being in the plays. I wish I lived closer so that I could stop by in person. Paul give my regards to the rest of the family.

  6. Robert and Jill Kratzke says:

    Our sincere sympathy to you all in the loss of your dear father, grandfather and great grandfather Emmett Kratzke,. Your father Emmett, was my dad’s cousin (Robert Herman Kratzke and my wife Jill and I enjoyed visiting with him over the years at the Kratzke family reunions, and also at family celebrations with the family of Reuben and Betty Lang. He was always such a pleasant happy guy. May he rest in peace. We are unable to make the trip from Saint Paul, but our prayers are with your family.
    As ever, your cousin, Robert and Jill Kratzke.

  7. Crysta Wille says:

    Your family is my prayers. I LOVED Emmett. He drove my route for school and there are plenty of stories to go with those hours spent on the road. Blessings to you all.

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