Monday, December 4, 2023.
Beloved father of Amy Kraft (Chet) Plegge and David (Dori) Kraft; loving grandfather of Emily and Avery Kraft and Ella Plegge; adoring brother of Fr. Philip Kraft, Kathleen (Larry Creamer) Scott and the late Theodore Kraft; very special friend of Janet Scott. Our dearest uncle, great-uncle and friend to many.
Lawrence (“Larry”) Kraft was born in Ambridge, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1938. When he was eight years old, the family moved to Lexington, Kentucky where they lived for about four years before moving back to Pennsylvania, this time to Butler, in 1950. Half way through his freshman year of high school, the family settled in Decatur, Illinois, where Larry attended and graduated from St. Theresa Catholic High School in 1956.
Following high school, Larry chose a religious vocation and entered the Brothers of Mary. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1966 from St. Mary’s College in San Antonio, Texas, going on to teach at various St. Louis and East St. Louis high schools, including Mc Bride and Assumption, where he proudly spearheaded the start of a Speech and Debate Team. Subjects taught in the early part of his career included Religion, Speech, and Latin. After ultimately making the decision to leave religious life in the late 1960’s, Larry continued teaching and earned his Master’s Degree in Education from St. Louis University in 1968. The year prior, he began his 27 years of service at Lindbergh High School as an English teacher. Hundreds of International Baccalaureate students will no doubt remember his magic “Lead-In-Quote-Lead-Out” formula for essay writing, his legendary Greek mythology lecture, playing all the roles himself, of course (“Sign the Deed! Sign the Deed!” “No, No! Never, Never!”), and his dreaded mandate that “Romeo and Juliet” be performed in full medieval costume in the classroom.
Larry identified himself as an avid reader and an “amateur Thomistic philosopher.” A dedicated creative writer of poetry, short stories, and what he hoped would someday become known as the Great American Novel, Larry accomplished his goal of becoming a published author in the 1980’s when his educational Literature and “How to Write an Essay” programs, created on his beloved Apple II E computer, were accepted by Aquarius publishing company in Florida and sold on cutting edge floppy disks.
While Larry took great pride in his 34-year teaching career and received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Lindbergh High School Alumni Association in 2021, the true pride and joys of his life were his children, whom he adored and supported unconditionally in countless ways. A creature of habit, he instilled the importance of tradition, Faith, education, and loyalty, be it toward family, friends, principles, the Cardinals, the Tigers, or, most importantly, the Fighting Irish. His years in retirement were devoted to following international news, watching sports, sharing meals and treasured conversations with loved ones, taking trips to his favorite places (and ONLY to his favorite places…why mess with a good thing?), enjoying summer nights at the Muny, and growing his DVD collection of old musicals. He was the proudest son, brother, uncle, father, grandfather, and friend, and he will be so dearly missed.
Memorial Service at Kutis Affton Chapel 10151 Gravois Rd. 63123 will be lived streamed. Click on the active link to view the Memorial Service. https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/index.php?data=MTcwMjY4NDk5NzI4NjA3MCZvbmVyb29tLWFkbWluJmNvcHlfbGluaw==
Inurnment at Park Lawn Cemetery will be held in private.