Through the life of Jeanette Krachtt we are reminded that each day is a gift to be treasured with those we love. Her life was not an easy one, yet her unending love for her family never wavered and only grew deeper with each challenge she faced. Jeanette certainly loved being a mother, but she just may have argued that her role as a grandmother was her greatest reward. Life will never be the same without her here, but the precious moments she shared with her friends and loved ones will remain forever etched upon their hearts.
As the forties dawned in America people were looking for a reprieve from the hardships of the Great Depression that had blanketed our nation throughout the entire decade of the thirties. WWII was gaining momentum overseas while the first military draft was instituted during a time of peace with the signing of the Selective Training and Service Act in 1940. This year brought great joy to one active family from Stone Bank, Wisconsin, as they were overjoyed to welcome a baby girl into their hearts and home on July 29th. Jeanette Diane was the third of four children born to her parents, Harold and Verna Keller (nee Holck), and she was the only girl. She was raised in the family home in the area of Stone Bank and Oconomowoc alongside her two older brothers, Harold and Michael, and her younger brother, Gerald. Jeanette’s father drove a truck in order to support his family while her mother tended to the needs of their home and her family.
In many ways Jeanette experienced a childhood that was rather common for the youth of her generation. As the only girl among a sea of boys in her family, she was often the subject of their jokes and antics. Even as an adult Jeanette was picked on by her bothers as Harold once commented to her, “We always picked on you, so there is no sense in stopping now!” She attended local schools and enjoyed her home economics class best. Jeanette learned valuable skills in cooking and sewing that she used throughout her life. She completed school through the eighth grade.
Life was forever changed for Jeanette when she moved to Milwaukee in 1966 and settled in the Bay View area. It was there that she became acquainted with the man with whom she would share a lifetime of love. His name was Kenneth Krachtt, and together they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Cindy, in 1966. Deeply in love, Jeanette and Ken were married on March 2, 1968, in Milwaukee.
The newlyweds settled into a home with their daughter in the Bay View area and later welcomed three sons: Lyle in February of 1970, Jeffrey in May of 1971, and Michael in January of 1973. Ken worked for a local demolition and salvage company while Jeanette worked at home keeping her bustling brood of children in line. She could often be heard saying, “knock it off,” or “enough already!” Caring for her husband and children was always her main focus in life, and she was loving, generous, and selfless when it came to meeting their needs. Jeanette was always there for her family in every way, and when grandchildren arrived that quality only multiplied. She treasured each of her three grandchildren and seized every opportunity to spoil them in countless ways. Jeanette had special nicknames for each of her loved ones, which was only one of the countless ways she demonstrated her unending love. On one occasion they took their family on a memorable vacation to Six Flags Great America, the Wisconsin Dells, and on their first train ride to Chicago. The moments they shared on that trip were truly priceless and will never be forgotten.
Life was not always easy for Jeanette. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-eighties, but was able to overcome the disease. Tragedy stuck the Krachtt family on Christmas Day in 1994 with the murder of Jeanette and Ken’s son, Jeff. Understandably so, this loss made Jeanette more protective of her children, and she devoted even more time to checking on them. With their children grown, Jeanette and Ken moved to a smaller home and were beginning to plan their many adventures during Ken’s upcoming retirement years. During what should have been such an exciting time, Jeanette was dealt another devastating blow when Ken was suddenly killed in an industrial accident during the demolition of a building. This loss combined with the loss of her son was too much for Jeanette, and she became very depressed. Medication helped some, but her protectiveness of her family increased again as she couldn’t bear losing anyone else.
Although Jeanette’s focus was first and foremost on her family, she did find other things rewarding, too. She collected a number of things including Betty Boop and train sets along with so many other things in between. Jeanette liked watching television, especially professional wrestling, and she was also a huge Elvis fan.
Just this past year Jeanette was diagnosed with lung cancer that later spread to her brain and liver. She was admitted to the hospital on January 13 and was transferred to Ruth Hospice on January 18 where she died a couple of days later.
With the love of her life by her side for nearly 40 years, Jeanette Krachtt dedicated her life to nurturing and protecting the family who was her greatest source of pride and joy. Her generosity was unmatched, and her love for her family was easy to see. Jeanette was a blessing in the lives of those around her and will be deeply missed.
Jeanette D. Krachtt died on January 20, 2012. Jeanette’s family includes her children, Cindy, Lyle, and Michael; grandchildren, Connie, Ashley and Faith; great-grandchildren, Jeffrey and Jacob, and many other relatives and friends. Jeanette was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Kenneth, and son, Jeffrey. Visit with Jeanette’s family and friends on Monday, January 30 at the Funeral Home from 4 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 7 p.m. Entombment St. Adalbert Cemetery. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a favorite memory or sign the online guestbook.
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