Donald Cedric Krause, 99, a longtime resident of Ridgefield, passed away quietly on Thursday, Jan. 6, surrounded by his family. He was still at home living in the house he built more than half a century ago.
He was born in Bagley, Minnesota on Sept. 17, 1922 to John Krause and Victoria Goedker, as the youngest of 10 children. He had six sisters and three brothers. Three of the brothers and one sister died of diphtheria. He was also raised with his niece and nephew, Pal and Vicki, after his older sister Agnes passed away. He attended the Maple Hill School in Hibbing, Minnesota which he remembered as a big board building with three to four grades in each room. He left school in the 11th grade. During their time in Minnesota, the family lived in Bemidji, Red Lake Falls and Hibbing.
His father died when Don was 16 and he took over the family farm, which accelerated his responsibilities for milking cows. He also worked at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp for kids during the summer making cement. His Works Progress Administration job paid $30 a month. He also worked in the mines while living in Hibbing.
Near the end of World War II, he and his mother moved to Vancouver to find work in the shipyards. In his words, “they canned the bull and headed west.” The war ended about a month after they arrived in Vancouver.
In 1944, he met Geneva Stemmerman at the shipyards and they were married in 1946. They were later divorced, but had four children together: Donna Murdock (George), of Pendleton, Oregon; John Krause (Nancy), of Cumming, Georgia; Robert Krause, deceased; and Daniel Krause (Denise) of Ridgefield, as well as a stepdaughter Rose Harshman (John) of Vancouver.
He later met and married his second wife, Bertha, who preceded him in death. Bertha was an avid genealogist and following his retirement, he and Bertha traveled throughout the United States and Canada pursuing her hobby. They also made many trips to Minnesota and California to visit his sisters and their families. As the eventual patriarch of the family, he was affectionately known as Uncle Don and he spent time in his later years on frequent telephone calls with nieces and nephews.
He was primarily a machinist-welder by trade and after leaving the shipyards, created Don’s Auto Service, which he operated on the side for many years. After working a year at Alcoa, he worked for Grady’s Service Station. He spent the next 10 years at Step Motor Company and then moved to Lewis River Motors, before spending time working on the Swift-Merwin Dam.
He became a journeyman millwright at Schurman Machine Works where he spent the last 33 years of his working life. His skills and his work at Schurman resulted in considerable travel in order to keep lumber mills up and running. His specialty was a particular kind of barker created by Schurmans.
In retirement, he kept busy with his hobbies of bowling, fishing and farming. His home is filled with trophies from his bowling career. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge and the International Association of Machinists.
In the last few years as his mobility and his ability to drive became limited, rather than being cooped up alone inside the house, he had recliners moved out onto his deck and another in the driveway so that he could have a better view of activities in his neighborhood.
He had seven grandchildren: Shannon Bergevin (Robert) of Walla Walla; Bryn Murdock, Hermiston; Megan Grimm (Brian Delano), Ridgefield; Ian Murdock (Lindsay), Echo, Oregon; Nicholas Krause (Tina), Ridgefield; and Terry Peru (Brad) of Vancouver. He had 13 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Dollars Corner Moose Lodge, 2423 6719 NE 219th Ave., Battle Ground, Washington, 98604.