John M. Kraft

John M. Kraft, 77, of Williston, N.D., died on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at the Trinity Medical Center in Minot. Memorial Services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, May 24, 2013, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan, N.D. Pastor Steve Anderson will officiate. Fulkerson Funeral Home of Williston is in care of arrangements. Friends may sign the guest book for the family at the Fulkerson Funeral Home in Williston on Thursday, May 23, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friends may share condolences and memories with the family online at (

John Mike Kraft was born Sept. 26, 1935, in Beulah, N,D., to John A. and Stella (Weisser) Kraft. He was raised and educated in Beulah, Dickinson and Minot. He graduated from Dickinson Trinity High School and attended Minot State University and UND-Williston. His dad passed away when John was very young, so he spent extra time with his younger brothers, took them out fishing and made sure to encourage them to go to college.

John entered the U.S. Army in 1952 during the Korean War. During his enlistment he obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant and received the Presidential Unit Citation Medal from General Maxwell Taylor. He was honorably discharged in 1955 at Fort Carson, Colo.

John was a Red Owl Grocery Manager for 25 years, a Cactus Concrete salesman for 5 years and a salesman for OK Distributing for 20 years. John loved family, rocks, cement, fixing stuff and astronomy, in that order. He was a member of First Lutheran Church, Williston. He was also a member of the Shriners and a licensed airplane pilot.

On Sept. 25, 1955, John was united in marriage to Doris Ann Brekhus in Norma, N.D. John loved being a family man; the couple had four daughters, Deb, Sam, Jinny and Roxy. They lived in Minot for 11 years, Grand Forks for a year, Kenmare and Bismarck for two years, and then settled in Williston, where they lived for 42 years.

Doris, his wife of 57 years, preceded John in death on Dec. 3, 2011. John missed Doris very much. He found a poem that summarized his feelings: “You’ve just walked on ahead of me and I’ve got to understand, you must release the ones you love and let go of their hand. I try and cope the best I can, but I’m missing you so much. If I could only see you and once more feel your touch. You’ve just walked on ahead of me. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine, but now and then I swear I feel your hand slip into mine.”

John is survived by: his daughters, Debbie Egeland, of Bismarck, N.D., Sandra “Sam” Seaton, of Williston, N.D., Jinny (Jody) Marmon of Wilder, Idaho, and Roxy (Tim) Shilhanek, of Billings, Mont.; six granddaughters, Vanessa and Macy Egeland, Cassandra and Bridget Seaton, Jessica (Daniele) Pinna and Tina (Paul) Simcox; two grandsons, Ryan (Tarin) and Corey Shilhanek; two great-granddaughters, Giuliana Pinna and Elena Shilhanek; and great-grandson, Tavin Shilhanek; brothers, Ted, Larry, Jim, Bill, Pat and Tom; and sisters, Betty Huizenga, Mary Johnson and Dorothy Marquardt.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Doris; brother, Barney; sister, Laura Heinze; grandson, Sean Shilhanek; and son-in-law, Steve Egeland.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, family would suggest memorials be made in John’s honor to Ray Lutheran Church, 216 Score Street, Ray, ND 58849.