Kate Krauss


Posted: Sunday, September 17, 2006

Longtime Juneau resident Kate Krauss, 77, died Sept. 12, 2006, surrounded by family at her home in Juneau. She was a resident of Juneau for 46 years. She had celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary this year with her husband, Ernest Krauss.

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She was born March 4, 1929, in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, to the Gurlt family. There the family endured World War II hardships. She immigrated to the United States on the S.S. Washington. Before boarding, she met her future husband, who came from the Black Forest, a region of Germany. They were separated for about five years, as both settled in New York City and led separate lives. She worked as a dressmaker in the fashion industry. Their paths eventually crossed again, and they married. They started their lives together in New York City.

In 1959, she and Ernest drove in a Volkswagon beetle 21,000 miles in three months through 43 states to find their new home in Juneau.

Family members said, "This speaks to Kate's ever-present sense of adventure!"

In Juneau, she and Ernest founded and worked together in their business, Ernie's Upholstery and Drapery Shop, from 1960 to 1972. When the business closed, she worked for several years at Sallie's Kitchen. All the while, she designed clothes for family and raised her two children, Norman and Brenda.

According to her family, her talents were many, and she was artistically inclined.

"She loved the outdoors, but not particularly heights!" they said. "But she was always game to stretch her boundaries with friends and family."

She enjoyed sailing. She also found an outlet in gardening. Most of all, she enjoyed planning camper trips with her husband that spanned thousands of miles.

What brought her pleasure and peace for 12 years and into her final hours was classical guitar.

She is survived by her husband, of Juneau; son, Norman Krauss and his wife, Janna, and their daughter, Annabelle, of Fairbanks; daughter, Brenda Krauss and her sons, Orion and Theodore Krauss, of Anchorage; sister Selma Beier and her husband, Erwin, of Bremen, Germany; and cousins and two nieces of the United States and Germany.

Her immediate family supported her in life and in dying. After a three-day wake on Sept. 15, her body was cremated to rest on the family's mantle and will one day be joined with her husband's ashes.

In lieu of contributions, the family would like information regarding cancer statistics for Juneau sent to P.O. Box 21655, Juneau, AK 99802.

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