George H. Krause Williamston To all who knew him or merely even encountered him, George Krause was kind, compassionate and honest, a true gentleman in the finest sense of the word. Very much a member of the "Greatest Generation," George was a child of the Great Depression and a veteran of World War II, and whose lifelong service to his country, his family, his friends, the community and to the law, touched the lives of so many people, died on August 19, 2013. Born in 1923, he celebrated his 90th birthday on August 6. George grew up in the small town of Flat Rock, Michigan. Flat Rock held a special place in his heart throughout his life. Upon graduation from high school, George entered the United States Army in February, 1942. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he entered Michigan State University on the G.I. Bill and graduated in 3 years, with high honors, with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. While he was a student, he worked for The State News. After a stint as the Managing Editor of the Marshall Evening Chronicle, George moved on to the Lansing State Journal where he worked as the paper's labor columnist and a copy editor for 16 years. But it was the law which proved to be George's real calling and for which he had a deep and abiding love and respect. While working at the Journal, he attended the Detroit College of Law at night, and drove back and forth between Lansing and Detroit for four years on "old Grand River." After graduating and passing the Bar Exam in 1963, George served as the very first Executive Director of Legal Aid for Ingham County, where he diligently represented the most vulnerable of the County's citizens, the indigent, the elderly and the disabled, all of whom he always treated with the utmost dignity and respect. That was true with all of his clients throughout his legal career, as he moved on to private practice, first with the Sinas Dramis law firm, and then ultimately on to a solo practice. He proved to be a pioneer in the area of domestic violence, oftentimes representing pro bono women who were survivors of spousal abuse. George was the quintessential small town lawyer, with his office in Mason, Michigan; there were many clients who paid for his services with garden vegetables or firewood or a tune up on the family car. As a lawyer, he understood and he was proud of the fact that he was a servant; the Constitution was his bible and the many court rooms in which he appeared were his churches. George held firmly to the principle articulated so well by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in Griffin v. Illinois in 1956: "there can be no equal justice where the kind of trial . . . (one) enjoys depends on the amount of money (one) has." He retired from the law in 1985. A lifelong FDR Democrat, George also cared passionately about politics. He lived his personal as well as his professional life with integrity, compassion and decency, and with a dedication to serving the least among us. He was also known to play a hand of cribbage, or two. And before he was stricken with neuropathy, he greatly enjoyed the peace of fishing with his sons. George was a devoted fan of Spartan athletics and he most especially loved the Detroit Tigers. More than anything else, though, George deeply loved his devoted wife of 55 years, Elaine, and their three children and their spouses, Kurt (Amy Ronayne), Kathleen Clark (Bob) and Kevin (Stacy). They survive him as do his three grandchildren, of whom he was so proud: Andy Krause, Haley Clark and Eric Krause. They all miss him greatly. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions may be made in George's name to either Legal Services of South Central Michigan (lsscm.org), or the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy (foundationforpn.org). A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
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Published in Lansing State Journal on Aug. 22, 2013