Shirley M. Kraft, 84, was joyfully reunited with Christ and her beloved fur-children, Maggie, Sophie, Dusty and Sugar-Bear on August 23, 2023. Her brother Dale Kraft Sr. and her brother-in-law Doug Smith also welcome her into heaven.
Shirley was born on July 13, 1939 to Herbert and Gladys (Glamm) Kraft, the second of five children. She graduated from Oconomowoc High School in 1957, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Wisconsin State College-Whitewater and subsequently obtained Master of Science degrees from North Dakota University in 1965 and Cardinal Stritch College in 1989. She was employed by the Waukesha Public School System for 30+ years, and will be fondly remembered for her role as a loved and respected high school chemistry teacher at Waukesha North.
Dogs were at the center of Shirley’s universe. She was willingly and successfully trained by a Cocker Spaniel, a Schnoodle and two Bichon Frises, scheduling every aspect of her existence around their needs and desires. On daily walks rain, snow or shine, she became acquainted with many wonderful neighbors that meant so much to her. Matt, Sarah, Anya, Simon, Dennis, Sandy, Denise, Josh, and many more, thank you for the love, friendship and support you have given Shirley over the years.
In retirement, Shirley spent much time with family. Packer parties, holiday gatherings, several-calls-per day with sister Janet talking about the daily newspaper crossword puzzle, jumble and crypto-quip, and spending time with her brother John were a few of her favorite things to do. She loved dressing up for Halloween trick-or-treat to scare any kids that dared to ring her doorbell, and hosting an occasional New Year’s Eve party with friends Frosty and Stell. In recent years, Shirley lived at the Linden Grove assisted living facility. Her smile, wit and outgoing demeanor brought happiness to many residents of the Lodges wing. Jigsaw puzzles became a daily project and she enjoyed participating in activities such as having her nails painted and playing bingo.
Shirley is survived by her siblings, Janet Smith (the late Douglas), John Kraft, Joan Garbelman (Louis); nieces and nephews Jodi Smith, Jeff Garbelman, Kory Garbelman, Dale Kraft Jr., Nancy Remmel, Michael VanDeraa, Kristina Huelskamp and their respective families. She is also survived by many cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Dale Kraft Sr., her brother-in-law Doug Smith.
Graveside services and burial will be held at Summit Cemetery in Oconomowoc, WI on September 23, 2023 at 12:00 noon. A celebration of Shirley’s life for family and friends will follow at Schwefel’s Restaurant (39877 Hwy 16, Oconomowoc WI) from 1:00pm-3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha or to another animal shelter of your choice are suggested.