George Willhite Kraft

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

George Willhite Kraft, 88, Nevada, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 2004, at Moore-Few Care Center, Nevada. He was born July 16, 1916, in Nevada, Vernon County, to George Kraft and Bula Agnes Willhite Kraft. On Sept. 12, 1942, in Nashville, Tenn., George W. Kraft married Naomi Veronica Christilaw from Glenwood, Minn., who survives.

He graduated from Nevada High School in 1934. He then attended Washington University at St. Louis, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate Degree in Law in 1940. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps for World War II in 1941 and received wings and commission of 2nd Lieutenant at San Diego, Calif., in February 1942. George W. Kraft flew with the Air Transport Command during the war and also was an instructor for air flight at Rosecan Field at St. Joseph, Mo. On Feb. 1, 1946, Captain George W. Kraft was honorably discharged at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis. In 1946, George W. Kraft worked for the Mississippi Valley Trust Bank in St. Louis, before returning to Nevada. George W. Kraft worked as a bookkeeper for Ames International Harvester upon returning to Nevada, then in the 1950s, George worked for Richardson Motor Company as an accountant. Since about 1979, George has been retired. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Nevada, the American Legion, Elks Club, and an inactive member of Nevada Country Club.

In addition to his wife Naomi, survivors include one daughter, Suzan Ann DeNeen and her husband, James, F., Joplin; one grandson, James Scott DeNeen and his wife, Whitney, Springfield; one granddaughter, Mary Suzan Jones and her husband, Michael Stephen, Conway, Ark.; and three great-granddaughters, Karsun Paige DeNeen, Kelsey DeNeen and Elizabeth Louise Jones.

Funeral services were held today, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Ralph Clark officiating. Soloist was Wes Morton. Musical selections were "The Lord's Prayer," "Amazing Grace" and "Let There Be Peace on Earth." Organist was Karen Hertzberg. Pallbearers were Don Weakley, Aaron Griffitt, Bill Griffitt, Linden Post, Robert Wiggins and David Swearingen. Honorary pallbearer was Joe Kraft. Interment was in Newton Burial Park in Nevada. Military rites were conducted by the Missouri Military Funeral Honors National Guard Juliet Team from Joplin.

Those who wish may contribute to the United Methodist Church, 500 S. College, Nevada, MO 64772. Arrangements were by Ferry Funeral Home.