Edward John Kraft

June 13, 1939


October 1, 2020

Edward John Kraft

June 13, 1939


October 1, 2020

Edward John Kraft, 81, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Freida; his sister, Betty; brother Bob; his infant son, Rodney Martin; and his first wife, Fay.

Eddy was born on June 13, 1939, in St Xavier, to Martin and Frieda (Keierleber) Kraft. He always told the story that his mom was thinning beets when she went into labor. “She gave birth working south, dropping me in the beet row and collecting me up heading north.” Eddy attended high school in Billings and lived most of his life in and around the Billings area, with the exception of his military service in Massachusetts, and several years in Missoula with his wife Susie.

Eddy met the first love of his life, Fay B Kraft (Kary) at a donkey basketball game in Shepherd, and they were later married in Billings on Jan. 18, 1958. Eddy and Fay built a life together in Billings and raised four children for 28 years until they divorced in 1986. Eddy served his country in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in the army guided missile field for four years. When Eddy got out of the service, he returned to Billings, where he ultimately built and operated his own business, Eddy’s Ornamental Iron, where, over the years, he was able to employ his sons, his son-in-law and had the greatest pleasure of his life working with his father Martin Kraft. Additionally, Eddy held several contracts with the Billings Gazette hauling newspapers across Montana and Wyoming.

Eddy married Susie Kraft on Sept. 20,1986. In Susie, he found a partner for life. Eddy and Susie held several contracts with the US postal service throughout Montana. They enjoyed a very full life together — partners in crime and always by each other’s side in work and play for over 34 years. He always said he was blessed to be married to his best friend. They had an amazing partnership and enjoyed being together. They were family focused always and always had an open door and a meal for any one of the family or extended family. The coffeepot was always brewing up another pot; your cup was always being filled to the top! 

Eddy’s greatest joy in life was family. He was happiest surrounded by his kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces and nephews, and a very large extended family that he had built over the years. Once you were part of Eddy’s life, you were in his life forever. Eddy enjoyed his family, hosting his weekly Bible Study group and texting “Good Morning” messages to his kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, friends and other family almost daily!

Eddy is survived by his loving wife, Susie; and his children, Rick Kraft, Teri (Mike) Waleri, Randey (Robert) Arnold-Kraft, Rod (Kara) Kraft, Jeff Gratwohl, Jamie (Bart) Brower; 20 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

He was the patriarch of our family and the glue that kept us all together. He was a man of very deep wisdom and gave the best advice. Papa Eddy, we are blessed to have you in our hearts and families forever. AND we will remember your words, “It is always darkest before the light — have patience, your light will shine through!”

Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, RiverStone Hospice, Yellowstone Animal Shelter or charity of choice.

Services will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave.

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13 thoughts on “Edward John Kraft”

  1. Rich and Kathy Wagner

    We were so very sorry to hear of Eddy’s passing. He was a really good man and friend. We are praying for peace and comfort for all of you … who knew and loved him best. He will surely be missed. God bless each of you …

  2. Eddy was always willing to help out another, and his joking personality made for a pleasant day. I have many fond memories of he and Sue as well as the “family”. Psalm 118:24 epitomized Eddy.

  3. Eddy was a sweetheart and was the light and life of our pulmonary rehab group. May he have a grand reunion with Pat, Margaret, Jolene and the others who went before him. God speed, Eddy. See you on the other side.

  4. Nina and Larry Sheneman

    Dear Susie and Eddy’s family. We are sorry for your loss. It was our privilege to know Eddy. We cannot be there for his service, but Susie, we will be in touch with you soon.
    With love,

  5. Ray/Karen (Boroughs) Carl

    Dear Susie and family:
    We are sad to hear about Eddy’s passing. We wish we could attend the service, but we are not able to. Our sympathies go out to everyone.
    Susie, we will be in touch with you soon.

  6. Debbie Galahan and Fam

    Susie and Fam,
    I am sorry to hear of Eddys passing. I am so sorry I am not there with all of you today. I loved Eddy, as well as Bill and all my kids did. He was everybody’s favorite Uncle. I love all of you!!! You will all be in my prayers.
    Love Aunt Debbie

  7. Not long after I moved to Billings from NY in June 2019 I was asked to come to a Saturday morning Bible Study at Denny’s. That’s where I met Eddy. From the first moments Eddy became like a father figure to me that I had lacked since my Pop had died six years earlier. From that day forward each week we met I made it a point to sit next to Eddy so during fellowship and breakfast we could talk much. He always wanted to know how I was doing and handling my big move to Montana. He was a comfort to me as my family was back in NY. I was lucky enough to get one of his “good morning” texts on a regular basis. Though things didn’t work out and I moved back to NY this past February, Eddy kept in touch almost weekly. God’s plan wasn’t to bring me to Billings for a job but to bring Eddy and others into my life. I am a richer man for having the privilege to know him if only for a brief time. God bless!

  8. So saddened to hear of Eddy’s passing. Growing up next door to the Kraft family I couldn’t have had a better family as neighbors. Eddy was always so fun to be around and I can still hear him calling me by the nickname “Curly” I still remember him teasing me that drinking coffee makes hair grow on your chest. Another joke was that my cowboy boots “weren’t real cowboy boots because they had rounded toes not pointed” Such a great man who will missed.

    1. Ryan,
      thank you for sharing those memories… Brought so much back! He is missed so much…. I really miss his sense of humor 🙁

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