Theodore Martin Kraft
Birth Date: April 9, 1931
Death Date: January 17, 2018
Theodore “Ted” Martin Kraft, age 86, died January 17, 2018, at Generations (Symphony) of Decatur.
Ted was born April 9, 1931 in Ambridge, PA, the first child of W.T. “Ted” Kraft and Eileen Graham Kraft.
He was preceded in death by his son Timothy, his grandson David Bennett, and his parents.
He is survived by his daughters Alice (Lee) Engstrom of Statesville, NC and Sally Bennett Smircich of Sanford, FL; grandson Joel Bennett (Tiffany); great-grandchildren Riley and Lucas Bennett and Caleb Bennett. He is also survived by his brothers, Fr. Philip Kraft of Springfield, IL and Lawrence Kraft of Fenton, MO, and by his sister Kathleen Grove Scott of Cisco, IL.
Ted attended St. Veronica Grade School in Ambridge, PA, and graduated from the Latin School in Lexington, KY in 1954. He promptly joined the U.S. Marines. He was attached to the Third Battalion, Eight Marine, Second Marine division as a radio man. He cruised the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Canal Zone, and the Pacific. While on board ship for Korea, the truce was signed and he spent the remainder of his time as a Marine in Japan. At Iwo Jima, he was part of the maneuvers celebrating the famous “Raising of the Flag”. Ted remembered well the inscribed saying at the site: “Uncommon Courage was a Common Virtue”.
Following his discharge, Ted obtained his B.A. in Modern Languages with Minors in Ancient Languages and Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. Ted earned his law degree (LLB) from New York State University in Buffalo, NY. He practiced criminal law in Buffalo before moving to Miami, FL, where he practiced maritime law and Proctor in Admiralty. He later practiced personal injury law in Orlando, FL. He also became a Certified Nursing Assistant while in FL, and cared for Alzheimer and hospice patients.
When he retired, he moved to Deming, NM, where he used his amateur ham radio license to assist in search and rescue. He was active in Deming’s Republican Party.
The family wishes to thank the staffs of Eagle Ridge Supported Living Facility and Generations of Decatur for their care and concern for Ted the last few years. The family also wishes to thank Marge Castilli for her compassionate and prayerful nursing and retired Officer David Slade and Patty Anderson for bringing Holy Communion to Ted and visiting him in the hospital weekly. We also thank Fr. John Burnette, Pastor of St. Patrick and James Parish, for his spiritual care for Ted.
Memorials may be made to St. Thomas Catholic Church, St. Patrick & St. James, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Cisco UMC, American Legion Unit 1181 or any Veteran’s organization of choice.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Thursday, January 25, 2018 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 2160 N. Edward St. Decatur, IL, with Fr. Philip Kraft, Celebrant. The family will receive friends from 10-10:30 AM prior to the Mass. Burial will follow at 1:00 PM Thursday, January 25, 2018 in Camp Butler National Cemetery, 5063 Camp Butler Rd. Springfield, IL, with full military honors.
Arrangements by Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2801 N. Monroe Street, Decatur, IL 62526. View the online obituary, send condolences, and share memories with the family at www.moranandgoebel.com.