Thomas Kraught

SCARBOROUGH — Thomas Henry Kraut, 92, passed away peacefully on Oct. 27, 2020, at Holbrook Health Center, Piper Shores in Scarborough, Maine.

Tom was born on June 18, 1928, in Wabash, Indiana, the second son of Paul and Esther Kraut, owners of Kraut’s Market. He and his brother were baptized, confirmed, and attended the St. James Lutheran Church in Logansport. Tom had many jobs as a kid; working at the market, shining shoes, delivering the Daily Chronicle, setting bowling pins by hand, setting ties and rails for the railroad, and being an electrician’s helper to name a few. Tom played basketball and football in junior high, earned his varsity letter in his sophomore year and was co-captain of the football team in his senior year.

A life changing event happened when Tom’s brother Dick, four years older, enlisted in the Navy after graduation in 1942. Dick’s sub never reported after its second mission and he became missing in action. The Navy declared him dead a year later. After high school Tom joined the Navy to escape the family sadness. After his time in the Navy, Tom attended Valparaiso University, where he played football, was president of his fraternity, Phi Delta Psi, worked part-time and took 18 hours a semester. By attending summer school, he graduated in three years with a degree in geography and business/economics in 1951. In 1952, Tom attended Valparaiso Law School. While going to school, he worked full-time at US Steel in Gary, Indiana. He joked this was four hours of work, one hour of cards and three hours of studying for school. After graduating in 1955, he passed the Indiana bar exam, but never had interest in being a practicing attorney. He worked as a Division Credit Manager traveling 13 states for U.S. Gypsum Co. in Chicago.

It was during this time that he had a blind date with Jeanne, a divorced woman with two children that were deaf. In less than three months, they were married. Not long after, they welcomed their first daughter, Jaymie. Tom took a new job at National Homes Corp. in Lafayette.

With no upward mobility in sight, the family moved to Winona, Minnesota, where Tom worked for Bay State Milling Co. for 20 years as an insurance/pension manager and then treasurer. Only two years later, the business moved to the Prudential Center in Boston, and once again the Kraut family moved to Wayland, Massachusetts.

Tom and his family were always active in church no matter where they lived. The Sudbury United Methodist church was home. It was there they met some of their most treasured friends. Tom co-chaired a five-year fund drive to benefit New England pastors, raising over $3,000,000. He and Jeanne started the idea of a fall camping church retreat which grew greatly in size and continued many years. Jeanne and Tom helped raise funds to build a beautiful new chapel constructed by the members, along with serving on every commission of that church including Lay Leader. In 1979, they became part of a five couple Covenant Group that met regularly and lasted over 30 years.

After many years in the corporate world, Tom and Jeanne retired to Scarborough, Maine, to be with their daughter and grandchildren. For a few years, Tom owned Bunny’s, a burger/fries shack in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He loved “working the front” and watching all the tourists. Tom and Jeanne traveled the world including all 50 states and 21 countries.

Tom continued his church work at Thornton Heights United Methodist Church, along with being an active member of Kiwanis, the Scarborough Public Library, and reading to second graders, which his two grandchildren loved.

After four years of waiting, Piper Shores finally had an apartment for them, but unfortunately Jeanne’s Alzheimer’s had progressed. Tom lovingly took care of her on weekend visits while she lived with Jaymie. At Piper Shores, Tom became involved in literally everything! Besides playing poker, he attended senior college and chaired the Good Tyme Hour (a talent show extravaganza) for all the residents to name a few. His beloved wife of 54 years passed away in 2011. Tom had many good years after with friends and family, but moved into Holbrook Nursing home as he needed more assistance in his later years. He celebrated a fantastic 91st birthday with friends and family before COVID hit.

Tom touched so many lives — family, extended family, friends, co-workers and co-parishioners. He and Jeanne welcomed exchange students, extended family and those just needing a helping hand in their home. His generosity had no bounds.

Tom is survived by: his daughter, Jaymie Chamberlin of Scarborough, Maine; and his son, Mark Markin and wife Linda from Litchfield, Michigan; grandson, Christopher Chamberlin of Scarborough, Maine; granddaughter, Leah Chamberlin and husband Patrick Kavanagh of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and Michelle Snell and husband Bob of Grand Rapids, Michigan; along with some great great-grandchildren!

Interment services were held on Oct. 31, with a virtual celebration being planned for the end of the year. Special blessings and thank you to the wonderful staff of Holbrook Health Care at Piper Shores and Hospice of Southern Maine.

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