Henry J Kraus Jr.
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June 12, 1920 - Sept 14, 2012
Resident and early Mayor of Saratoga
He entered life June 1920 in Edgewater NJ he entered eternal life Sept 14, 2012 in Saratoga Cal.
His friends knew him as Henry or Hank or Mayor Hank, I knew him as Dad. He was born to Henry Katherine Kraus. His sister Margaret is 97 and lives in FL/NJ. He attended Fort Lee High School then Rutgers.
His first and only job was at IBM. During WWII he saw action in North Africa, Sicily and Italy with the Army Air Corp. He never talked about those times unless asked but as we all know his generation gave so much to so many. Back at IBM's Manhattan HQ he met and married Patricia. IBM did not allow couples to work simultaneously so Patricia became a full time Mom with Barbara in 1950 then Richard Kraus in 1952.
IBM sent Dad to many places but when they sent him to San Jose in '56 he phoned Mom and told her to pack everything, we are moving to California. Initially we lived atop the De Anza Hotel and frequented Original Joe's. Then to Willow Glen followed by Monte Sereno where my sister and I attended St Mary's in Los Gatos and finally to Saratoga in 1959.
Larry Tyler, Mayor of Saratoga, asked my father if he would join the Planning Commission. Later Henry was elected to the City Council then elected as Mayor of Saratoga. He had many accomplishments that we all benefit from today but the one I remember was the Bond measure to build a new Library. Dad was the catalyst of the council and knocked on every door in Saratoga to get it passed. As always Dad gave so much to so many donating his free time to the City for twenty years.
What stood out then and now is how Dad always showed a calm peaceful nature, with authentic interest, care, integrity and friendship to everyone that he came in contact with. From an early age I can remember adults coming up to me once they knew I was Patricia's or Henry's son to tell me how wonderful they were. It became so common that I didn't completely understand their motivation.
After fifty plus years at IBM and twenty years at the City it was his time. And yet life as we know it is never that simple. For now it was Patricia's time to experience the debilitating disease of Alzheimer's. Like her grandmother, mother and sister it became a contributing cause of her death on Nov 11, 2011. And so it goes, caring for Mom took so much out of Dad that ten months after her death it became a contributing cause of his death. Henry J. Kraus my father, mentor and roll model passed away at his beloved Saratoga home early on Sept 14th 2012.
As we gather today and our family and friends begin the process of life without the wonders of Henry J. Kraus we can only look back with happiness on our lives together and all that he and my mother taught us. His life long accomplishments and all the friends they made along the way. Henry and Patricia were married for 63 remarkable years. They produced two children and thousands of life long friends from around the world. They created jobs and wealth for others while freely donating their time and money to numerous causes and charities. His love and generosity was endless, he listened and he cared for us as he cared for others while giving from his heart. He had so much love and wisdom to share, for this and so much more we all will remember our times together and miss him forever until we meet on the other side.
Celebrate his life with a prayer for a man who gave so much to so many while helping to build a Village.
Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga will be his final resting place.
- Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. Dr. Seuss -
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Nov. 30, 2012