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W.A. (Bill) Krause

Obituary
  • "A great man and a caring individual. I only knew him..."
    - Troy DeZeeuw
  • "From the first time they met so many years ago until the..."
    - Megan Godfrey
  • "Bill Krause was one of the best, most successful and most..."
    - Chuck Offenburger
  • "Thoughts and prayers to Nancy and family..Bill was a true..."
    - Kaye Peters
  • "I worked for Bill back in the early 80's in Hampton. He was..."
    - Connie Burmester-Morrison

W.A. (Bill) Krause

West Des Moines

W. A. (Bill) Krause, 78, of West Des Moines, IA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at home in the company of friends and family.

Bill was born in Eldora, IA on January 13, 1935 to Arnold and Helen Krause. Bill graduated from Eldora High School and received his BS in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Iowa in 1957. He married Nancy Gentle in Iowa Falls, IA on August 1, 1959. While at Iowa, Bill was the football manager for the Hawkeyes, thus beginning a tremendous passion for the University of Iowa athletic program.

He developed a lifelong relationship with Forrest Evashevski, the head football coach. Evashevski was Krause's first mentor and one of the most influential people is his life. Bill was a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity while at Iowa and maintained a close relationship with his brothers all through his life.

In 1959, Bill formed a partnership with his father-in-law, T. S. (Tony) Gentle, and pioneered the convenience store concept where customers could purchase milk, bread and eggs in addition to their gasoline. Bill and Tony's acquisition of Viking Oil in Hampton, IA was the start of Bill's entrepreneurial passion. Their initial partnership grew into more and more gas stations and in 1976 the Kum and Go brand was developed to create continuity with the stores. Today, over 440 Kum and Go stores are in eleven states. Kum and Go is one of the nation's largest family-owned chain.

Bill's professional career is dynamic with the core business of convenience stores. In 1992 Ernst and Young named Krause Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year. However, his success stories do not stay within the confines of the convenience store industry. Krause is known for his strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, which has driven him into many other business ventures too numerous to mention.

Bill was very passionate about the Catholic Church, besides being a member of St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Des Moines, he served the Holy Family School Foundation Board and was named Lifetime Member of the Dowling Catholic High School Honorary Foundation Board. In 2007, the National Catholic Education Assocation awarded their national honor, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, to Krause. Bill and Nancy received the Civitas Award from Dowling Catholic Schools, their highest award in 2012.

Bill's life-long dedication to the University of Iowa was visible as he served on the National I-Club Board and the Tippie School of Business Board. Bill was named 'Hawk of the Year' in 1993 and in 2007 received the Oscar B. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award from the Tippie College of Business. Bill's signature gift to the University of Iowa kicked off the historic renovation to Kinnick Stadium with the Krause Family Pavilion named to honor his commitment.

Bill was survived by his wife, Nancy of 53 years; two sons: Kevin and his wife, Mary (West Des Moines); grandchildren, AJ Krause, Morgan (Elliott) Krause and Bo Krause; Kyle and his wife Sharon (Booneville); grandchildren, Ryan, Tanner, Elliott and Oliver Krause and Emily Safris; daughter Kate and her husband, David Prange (Chicago); grandchildren Ellen, Connor, Amelia, and Maeve; his sister Mary Ellen (Leon) Doughty. He was preceded in death by his Parents Arnold and Helen (Kangley) Krause and his sister Marge Johns.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made out to Dowling Catholic Schools, Holy Family School or Above Beyond Cancer.

A visitation will be held Sunday, June 23, at the Hy-Vee Convention Center, 5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA from 4 to 7 p.m. The funeral will be held on Monday, June 24, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis Assisi, Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, IA. A private burial will be held at Booneville Cemetery.

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Published in Des Moines Register from June 20 to June 23, 2013
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