Marie Ellen Kratovil

Marie Ellen (Kruse) Kratovil passed onto her heavenly home at the Bennett County Community Hospital in Martin, S.D., on May 5, 2012. She was brought into this world by her grandfather, Doc Bennett, on January 7, 1929, to Helge and Sarah (Bennett) Kruse in Parkston, S.D. The family moved to Batesland, S.D., when she was two years old. She attended Batesland area grade schools and graduated from Gordon High School, Gordon, Neb., in 1947.

She married the love of her life and her best friend, Leo Joseph Kratovil at the Gordon Lutheran Church in Gordon on October 19, 1947. She and Leo celebrated their 60 years together with a gathering of family and friends in 2007. They were blessed with eight children; Craig, Kirk, Marci, Mark, Matt, Clay, David, and Chad.

Her greatest joy was taking care of her family. During the 60’s she ran a cafe in Batesland for several years where she was famous for her homemade pies and fried chicken. She went to work for the Shannon County Public School system in 1975 and worked as a teacher’s aide for over 20 years. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Batesland where she was active in the Altar Guild and taught Sunday School for many years.

After Leo passed away in 2007, Marie moved to Martin where she was a familiar face around town. She made many new friends on her walks and got re-acquainted with old friends. She loved watching her grandchildren in their activities and volunteering at the Martin Grade School. She enjoyed playing cards, putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing Scrabble (she was hard to beat even when she made up her own words). Marie moved her membership from St. Paul’s to Our Redeemer’s after she moved to Martin and participated in church activities until her health declined.

Marie’s faith in God was strong and unwavering. In the course of living her faith she touched many lives. Leaving behind to mourn are seven children and spouses; Craig (Diana) of Rapid City; Kirk (Grace) of Mt. Lake, Minn; Marci of Rapid City; Matt (Judy) of Martin; Clay of Martin; David (Gosia) of Cambridge, Wisc.; and Chad (Kris) of Martin; 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Two brothers, Stanley (Lola) Kruse of Belle Fourche, S.D.; Marion (Joyce) Kruse of Sturgis, S.D.; one sister, Odessa Elwood, Gordon; two sister-in-laws, Lois Kruse of Gregory, S.D., and Elaine Kruse of Birmingham, A.L.; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Leo, son Mark, infant daughter Marilyn, brothers Russell Haynes, Wallace and Robert Kruse, sister Charlotte Hanneman, and brother-in-law Wesley Elwood.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 13, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bennett County Funeral Home in Martin.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 14, 2012, at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Martin. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to Bennett County Community Hospital and Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church.

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