Otto “Fred” Fredrich Kratzke, age 89, life-long Vergas area resident passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, November 28, 2015, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Loon Lake. Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m., Friday, November 27, 2015, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Loon Lake, Vergas, MN. Burial will be made at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Fred was born March 11, 1926, at home in Vergas, MN, to Otto and Julianna (Potz) Kratzke. He was baptized at home and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Loon Lake where he was a life member. He grew up on the family farm, attending District #138 country school through the 8 th grade. He continued to work on the family dairy farm. Fred married Elsie Eckre, who lived on the neighboring farm. The couple married June 2, 1948, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Loon Lake. The couple made their home on Fred’s grandfather’s farm where they raised 4 sons and 1 daughter. Fred worked as a carpenter at Kading Farm and Home for many years which offered him the flexibility to continue his farming. During his younger years, Fred enjoyed hunting and trapping. He enjoyed fishing and playing cards, as well as butchering cattle and hogs. He processed, cured, and smoked meat for many family members and friends. He was best known for his smoked sausage. Fred had a knack for fixing things and was very particular about anything he did. He often said, “The best is none too good”. He had a great sense of humor which he carried throughout his life.
Fred and Elsie made their home on Loon Lake in 1994 when they sold the family farm to their son, Marvin and his wife, Kim. Fred’s life was saddened by the passing of his wife, Elsie in 2006. In 2009, Fred made his home at Oak Crossing due to declining health where he remained until the time of his passing.
Fred is survived by 2 sons: Marvin (Kim) Kratzke of Vergas and Ronnie (Nancy) Kratzke of Perham; son-in-law, Allan Cossette of Fargo, ND; 6 grandchildren; 3 step grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren and 3 step great grandchildren; 1 sister, Anna Mielke of New York Mills, MN; 2 brothers: Raymond (Lillian) Kratzke of Pelican Rapids, MN, and Raynold Kratzke of Vergas, MN; 2 sisters-in-law, Verna Kratzke of Vergas, and Delores Eckre of Frazee, MN; along with many nieces and nephews.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elsie Kratzke; daughter, Kay Cossette; 2 sons: Roger and Kevin Kratzke; great grandson, Matthew Kratzke; siblings: Olga (Ernest) Schultz, Emma (Carl) Pitzel, Bill (Luella), Butch (Geline), Clarence, Bernard and Adeline (Dale) Urbach; and 4 brothers-in-law, Gordon Eckre, Emil Mielke, Rudolph H. Kratzke and Andreen Johnson; and 2 sisters-in-law: Tena Kratzke and Olga Johnson.