FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN, US — Richard G. Krafft Jr., who served on the leadership team of Star of the West Milling Co. for more than 60 years, died May 22. He was 90 years old.
A native of Frankenmuth, Krafft joined Star of the West straight from high school. He was a bookkeeper at the company from 1947 until 1953, when he was named general manager of the company. He headed the business with that title and later as president and treasurer until 1997. From 1997 until 2014 he was chairman of the board.
During Krafft’s tenure, Star of the West expanded significantly.
While he spent his entire career at Star of the West and his entire life in Frankenmuth, Krafft was active nationally in milling industry affairs. He was a past chairman of the Millers National Federation (now the North American Millers’ Association). Additionally, he was a past president of the Michigan Millers Association and held leadership positions with the Michigan Bean Shippers Association and the Michigan Feed & Grain Dealers. He was on the board of the Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co.
Krafft was on the board of directors of Chelsea Milling Co. and several other businesses in Michigan, including First of America Bank and Monitor Sugar Co.
In Frankenmuth, Krafft was mayor for six years and mayor pro-tem for eight. He spent 28 years on the Frankenmuth city council, beginning in 1957. He was a past president of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce, Frankenmuth Civic Events Council and Frankenmuth Lions Club.
Krafft was preceded in death in 2016 by Mary Ann Keller, his wife of 65 years. He also was preceded in death by a grandson, Richard Krafft.
He is is survived by his children, Michael (Cathy) Krafft of Frankenmuth; Chuck Krafft of Lansing, Michigan, US; and John (Ann) Krafft of Frankenmuth; grandchildren, Mitchell (Melissa) Krafft and Maria (Todd) Tambling; and great-grandchildren, Lukas Tambling, Joshua Krafft, and another baby girl on the way; a sister, Lois Wylie; and many nieces and nephews.
Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, a private family funeral was to be held May 27 at Cederberg Funeral Home of Frankenmuth with interment to follow in St. Lorenz Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, Girls of Grace, 641 Summergreen Drive, Frankenmuth, Mich. 48734.