Some people live long lives, scattered here and there with triumphs and achievements. Others, like Lyle Andrew Kraning, are granted a short time on earth, but are able to fill every day of their lives with energy, life and love. Lyle had a creative streak and a sense of humor, many friends and countless hobbies. He loved his family dearly and never let them forget it either. All those who met Lyle loved him, and those who already loved him, grew to love him even more.
During the early 1990s, American popular culture was undergoing its latest change. As the World Wide Web increased its following, CDs outsold cassette tapes and Beanie Babies flew off store shelves in record numbers. Meanwhile, Lyle R. Kraning, Jr. and Teresa M. Penn of Milwaukee, Wisconsin were anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child. Much to their delight, their son, Lyle Andrew, was born on November 1, 1991, at St. Luke’s Hospital; he shared his birthday with his maternal grandmother and great grandmother. Lyle had an older brother, Steven Hafemen, who thought “Lyle was a great brother.” His parents both worked to support their family – his father worked maintenance for a property management company, while his mother was a fifth grade teacher.
Lyle grew up around the semi-rural town of Oak Creek, where he attended the Oak Creek Public Schools. Lyle loved spending time with his family, especially at their “family get away” in Elco, Wisconsin, where he could usually be found on some outdoor adventure, like fishing and building forts with his friends. At home, Lyle was a pretty hands on kid, always wanting to get his hands dirty building or fixing something; he was quite a tinkerer of sorts. By shadowing his father while he worked, Lyle learned many great skills, which he put to good use as he got older. In his teen years, Lyle and his friend, Peter, worked together fixing up go karts, bikes, cars or whatever they could get their hands on, then sold them once in working order. Outside of “tinkering,” Lyle enjoyed drawing, being outdoors, riding scooters and skateboarding, or spending time at the nearest fishing hole.
Lyle was currently a senior at Oak Creek High School and looking forward to graduation. It was only natural that Lyle’s favorite classes in high school were metal shop, carpentry and home building classes. He already knew that after graduating he wanted to pursue a career as an entrepreneur, and perhaps build a skateboard park one day. You can bet Lyle would have poured his hard work and talents into making it a success too. Like most teenage boys, Lyle eagerly looked forward to getting his driver’s license, and began taking a keen interest in cars. In preparation for that day, Lyle began working with his Dad, doing maintenance at the apartments around Marquette University. He socked his hard earned money away and eventually was able to “deck his car” out with a stereo, boom box and amplifier, something he was very proud of.
Lyle was always the shy type, though he was funny and had a creative streak. He had the type of personality that everyone enjoyed being around – it was said “You couldn’t help but love him.” Lyle wasn’t your typical teenager though; unlike his peers, he never left the house without telling his parents “I love you”, something that now becomes a treasure of their hearts. In his junior year in high school, Lyle met Miranda, who was a year younger than him, and they hit it off. Miranda always had a way of making Lyle smile, and even in an argument, her smile could smooth everything over.
Two days before graduating, Lyle died tragically on Thursday, June 10, 2010, the result of an automobile accident in the car that he worked so hard to “deck out.” His mother, Teresa, will proudly receive his diploma posthumously from Oak Creek High School on his behalf. The handprint of Lyle’s life will forever remain an unspeakable force that shapes the lives of those who loved him and whom he loved in return.
Cherished son of Teresa M. Penn and Lyle R. Kraning Jr. Loving brother of Steven. Dear grandson of Joan Patricia and Lawrence J. Penn and Mae and the late Lyle R. Kraning Sr.. Further survived by aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. Visitation will be on Tuesday, June 15, at Parkway Apostolic Church, 10940 S. Nicholson Road, Oak Creek, WI, from 4:00-6:45 p.m. with a funeral service at 7:00 p.m. Interment Forest Hill Memorial Park, Oak Creek, WI. Please visit Lyle’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory or photo with his family or sign his online guest book. Arrangements by Suminski Family Funeral Home (414-744-5156)