Betty Jane Kraft made her journey home in the arms of the Lord and joined her beloved husband, Jerry, the morning of December 26. Betty was surrounded with love and family as she peacefully went.
The story that Betty’s life tells will reflects most in those she leaves behind, the pieces of her in each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Betty’s strength, tenacity and love of life was an incredible gift she gave each person she touched in her 92 years.
Betty was born on December 10, 1928 to Netty & John Miller. Her mom passed when Betty was 13, and although it’s not the most important part of Betty’s story, it is a true reflection of strength in who she grew to be right up to the end of her journey on earth.
Betty married John Kraus in 1948 and together they had three children, Ron (Debbie) Kraus, Nancy (Pat) Hanley and Kathy (Ron) Brandt. John left her a widow at 26 and she moved her three kids to Coeur d’Alene where she started working for C & C Beauty School. The beauty school took her and her small family to Kellogg, ID where she met the love of her life, Jerome (Jerry) Kraft. They married in 1960 and their family grew with Jacque (Tom) Sands, Martin (Marty) Jerome (Renae) Kraft and Michelle (John) Grubb. Betty’s job with C & C Beauty School would bring their family to Kalispell where Betty & Jerry settled permanently.
The family grew with grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren: April (Corey) Pilsch with their children Katie (Scott) Kotesky & son, Jaxson, Kirsten Pilsch & Nate Pilsch; Heather Kraus with her children Kaleb & Ayden; Ryan (Francesca) Kraus with their children Chloe & Zane; Sara (Rich) McBride, Tom (Carol) Hanley with his daughter Aurora; Scott (Stephanie) Brandt with their children Madison & Mackenzie, Renee (Corey) Slaybaugh with their children Colton & Tyler; Holly (Jason) Butler with their children Bo & Bellami; Colin (Alisa) Sands with their children Aidan, Maren & Dylan; Jordyn (Chris) Thayer with their son, Sullivan; John Brandon Grubb and his son John Alexander; Alexander (Michelle) Grubb, Chelsea Kraft with children Paisley & Presley; Cassandra Kraft with her children Carter & Kennedy and Jerome (Jerry) Kraft.
As the family grew, Betty aka Grammie kept busy through the years. Betty did her best to attend every sporting event, school play or concert she could. Some of the fondest memories her grandkids have of her is the time they spent with in her house on 1st Ave and all the sweet treats she would make sure they had on holidays and birthdays. Her family will miss her making her famous “maraca”, caramel rolls, banana bread and candied yams most.
Betty was a passionate card player and enjoyed her pinnacle and bunco groups, and playing cards on Wednesdays with her children. The stories that the cards could tell of the years of fun she had with her family and friends would fill a book. She loved to attend music at Snappy’s on Tuesday’s and concerts at church when she wasn’t busy with her family. As we have looked through the hundreds of photos she has taken through the years, it is a beautiful reminder of the incredible life she built around her. Betty loved with her whole heart and as her family grew, so did her love and dedication to each and every one of them.
She will be missed more than any words can truly express.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you make a donation to St. Jude’s in her honor.
A private graveside service will be held for the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Jane Kraft, please visit our floral store.