A man of honor, integrity, and generosity, Harvey Kralovetz was a blessing in the lives of so many others within his reach. He was never one to be concerned with building wealth or accumulating possessions, and although he accomplished much of which to be proud he was a humble man whose greatest joy was found in helping others. Harvey delighted in his family above all else, and he was guided by an unwavering faith as his constant companion. With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Harvey created a brilliant mosaic of memories that will remain a priceless treasure in the hearts and lives of those he leaves behind.
The entire decade of the 1930s was cloaked in hardship due to the unrelenting grip of the Great Depression. Although the unemployment rate was headed in the right direction by 1937, it still hovered above 15 percent, leaving countless Americans without work. There were achievements to celebrate, however, such as the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge and the development of the first jet engine. This same year was filled with great joy for one young family from Gibson, Wisconsin, as they were pleased to announce the birth of their son, Harvey Theodore, on June 17th. Born as the third of five children to his parents, Jacob and Emma (Schmidt) Kralovetz, he was the only boy in the family. Harvey was raised in the family home in Gibson, located in Manitowoc County, alongside his two older sisters, Dolores and Arlene, and his two younger sisters, Carol and Elaine.
In many ways Harvey experienced a childhood that was reflective of the times. His parents worked a farm in nearby Eagle, Wisconsin, and later in Oak Creek. Life on the farm is never easy and is often a family affair as was the case in Harvey’s family. The Kralovetz children were responsible for helping with the farm chores, which established within Harvey the strong work ethic that would be his constant companion throughout his life. It was also through his work on the farm that he learned to fix things, becoming a jack of all trades. Harvey attended local schools through the eighth grade, and he earned his GED when he entered the military.
With a desire to serve his country Harvey enlisted in the Army in 1954 at the age of 17. This was just as the Korean Conflict was drawing to a close, and he served in the states. In the military Harvey worked in truck repair, becoming a supply sergeant. After serving in active duty he joined the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of sergeant first class. With 29 years, nine months, and three days of service, Harvey retired from the military on June 17, 1997.
Throughout his life Harvey had an outstanding work ethic. Many years were spent working in the construction trade. Harvey took great pride in the fact that he helped build the Allen Bradley Clock Tower, which is the largest four sided illuminated clock in the nation. He later began working as a diesel truck mechanic for several firms over the years, retiring from Spellman Trailer in 2001. With his experience in the workforce, Harvey could fix anything and regularly helped family and friends around their homes with various projects.
There was nothing more important in Harvey’s life than his family. He married twice during his younger years, and although the marriages ended in divorce he was blessed with seven children from these unions.
Life was forever changed for Harvey when he met the woman with whom he would share the best years of his life. Her name was Brenda Turner, and they met in 1978 when Harvey attended a swimming pool party at a friend’s home. After about a year, Harvey asked Brenda to begin dating him, and as the story goes the rest is history. Deeply in love, they were married on August 22, 1980, in a civil ceremony in Waukesha. Together they were blessed with two children, Kirk and Roxanne.
There were so many things to love about Harvey. He was kind, softhearted, and generous with his time. Harvey was always helping others in some way whether mowing lawns, shoveling or plowing snow, or tending to a wide array of repairs around their homes. He could always be counted on to be there for his friends and family members in ways both great and small. Harvey was a devoted father and doting grandfather who was thrilled to spend time with his family whenever he could.
In his free time Harvey enjoyed pursuing his interests. He was a man of faith who was faithful in his worship and also ministered as an usher at church. Harvey had an insatiable thirst for learning about history and geography, and he was also an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and camping. As someone who was mechanically minded, Harvey could often be found working on semi tractors.
During his later years Harvey experienced some health challenges. In the mid-eighties he suffered a heart attack, which opened the door to subsequent heart issues during the years that followed. Harvey had a second heart attack in 2007 and later developed COPD and congestive heart failure. It was his congestive heart failure that brought him to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Hospital in Franklin on September 18th of this year. It was just a short time later that he drew his last breath surrounded by his loving family.
All who knew Harvey Kralovetz would agree that their lives were greatly enriched because of his touch. He was forever looking for ways to lighten the load of those around him and witnessed to others what a life of faith truly looks like. With the love of his life by his side for more than 30 years, Harvey experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. A dear man to many, he will be deeply missed and warmly remembered.
Harvey T. Kralovetz died on October 3, 2012. Harvey’s family includes his wife, Brenda; children, Frank (Jan), Rodney, Julie, Janele, Doug, Kevin, Roger (Ginny), Kirk Kralovetz and Roxanne (Steve) Peterson; siblings, Carol (Ron) Grundy, and Elaine Mevis; 15 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends. Family and friends will gather Tuesday, October 9 at the Funeral Home from 11:00 a.m. until time of the Memorial Service at 12:00 p.m. Inurnment Forest Hill Memorial Park. Suminski LifeStory Funeral Home, Niemann Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave 414-744-5156. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.
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