Well, it is official, Thornton “TK” Edward Kraft can no longer say, “I’m one day closer to the grave,” which was his common response if you asked him, “How are you doing today?” TK was born on November 23, 1936 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and died peacefully at home on August 3, 2021 from lung cancer. At 84, he was pretty ticked off that he was dying, because he took great care to maintain his body. At his local gym he had been labeled a “phenom” for his strength and physique. Although, he always said, “Healthy is just the slowest possible way to die.” TK also prided himself on the speed of his golf swing. He participated in a golfing club, “The R.O.B’s” (Retired Old Bastards). He was also a founding member of the Elks Lodge #2321 Slidell Chapter. He helped to establish the Slidell Youth Football Association and coached little league football for many years. Additionally, he officiated high school football until he was 72 for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. TK was an avid reader and worked the newspaper crossword puzzle daily. Having made poor marks in school for penmanship, as an adult he learned Calligraphy and was often commissioned to scribe items in this artistic form. His other hobby was woodworking – there was never a project he couldn’t tackle from complete kitchen cabinets to bookcases to custom closet doors. Additionally, TK loved all things Irish and was especially pleased to learn his ancestors did not originate only from Germany but also from Tralee in County Kerry Ireland.
TK’s education started at St. Rose de Lima. He proceeded on to St. Aloysius and was part of the graduating class of 1955. He attended St. Joseph’s Seminary, considering for a time the call to Priesthood – his children and grandchildren are grateful for his change of vocation! After high school, TK joined and served in the U.S. Navy. He attended Tulane University and Southeastern Louisiana University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
TK’s career was as an electrical engineer in the aero-space industry. He worked for Chrysler, Rockwell, and Martin Marietta.
TK lived a full life and his motto was, “Moderation is for monks – Take BIG bites!”
TK was proceeded in death by his parents, William Louis and Cecil Frey Kraft; his brother, William Louis Hussey Kraft; and his son, Thomas Edward Kraft. He leaves behind his wife, Donna S. Flower-Kraft; his children, William (Becky) Kraft, Nicole E. (Nicole Schmitt) Kraft, and Ashleigh (Steve) Wilshire; his grandchildren, Timothy (Elizabeth) Kraft, Nicole I. Kraft, Melissa Kraft, Victoria Kraft, Stephen Kraft, Alexis Kraft, Ethan Wilshire, and Everett Wilshire; his great-grandchildren Lena Kraft, Titus Kraft, and Dimitri Kraft; nieces, Michelle Kraft Holmes and Gretchen Kraft-Costanza; and many cousins.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Friday, August 13, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Audubon Funeral Home in Slidell, Louisiana. The funeral service will begin in the Chapel at noon. TK will be laid to rest at a later time during a private interment. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in TK’s honor. Memories and condolences may be expressed at www.AudubonFuneralHome.com.
He will be dearly missed by those that loved and knew him – Rest now in peace, TK, we love you!