Kendall Edward Kraske was born on Sept. 10, 1941, in Billings, to Louise and Emil Kraske, just minutes earlier than his womb-mate Karen. He attended Billings Senior High after his first choice, Billings Central High, decided they weren’t a good match.
A few years later, he met the love of his life, Lavern, his wife of 51 years. When they first met, Lavern remarked, “I like this guy, he goes to church!” They eloped to Cody, Wyoming, and were married by the justice of the peace. Soon after they were blessed with a baby boy, Mitchel.
Most of Kendall’s working years were spent with Carpenter Paper as a merchandise manager. Most of his time off was spent camping with his family, fishing, gardening, reading, biking and walking his dog Moses, whom he will be thrilled to see again in heaven. His relationship with nature was remarkable. Kendall served in the National Guard and was the 2011 NAMI volunteer of the year.
He is survived by his spouse, Lavern; his son, Mitchel; and his siblings, Dick (Jenny), Don (Martha) and Karen Melius (Mel). He will be missed by his many nieces and nephews, as well as the many children Lavern babysat over the years who enjoyed his childlike playfulness and antics of Cool Ken Kraske of Concord Drive.
Kendall passed away Thursday, May 4, 2017, at Canyon Creek Memory Care, from Lewy Body Dementia, which is one of the most challenging and difficult kinds of dementia. His family would like to thank the caregivers of St. John’s, Highgate, Canyon Creek and Compassus Hospice for the care provided to Kendall during this illness.
His funeral service is at 5 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kraske family at 1324 Concord Drive.