St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Kathy Krantz -- June 26, 1951 - March 14, 2014

A fellow writer and member of the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Writers (NWRW) passed away March 14th.  

Her obituary is at Kathy Krantz Obit

Kathy Krantz passed away last week. She fell in an icy driveway and was taken to the hospital, then sent home. Spent a night with her daughter then went home and died suddenly. She was 62.

Visitation, Tuesday, March 18, 4 – 7 pm, and Wednesday, 19 March at 10 am, at the Skinner Funeral Home in Cumberland (1245 1St Avenue, 715822-2345). Funeral, Wednesday, 19 March, 11 am at same location.

KATHY KRANTZ (in her own words)

  Into each life some hardships must come. Kathy has had her share of trials and heartaches.
  She has schizophrenia,, She touches on this subject in a book she wrote. It wasn’t until Kathy met Gene that she found the love and acceptance that she had searched for all her life. After being married to Gene for one year she was termed as a “stable schizophrenic.”   This is the best you can get with this disease, Kathy says.
  Gene and Kathy shared a ministry together. No, they were not professional singers, but God used their mistakes and touched people’s hearts anyway.
  They did not preach a theology, but rather they pointed people to Jesus. If God would never have loved, Jesus would never have died.
  Theirs was a whirlwind courtship, whirlwind marriage and a whirlwind death. Gene and Kathy’s courtship lasted three months before he asked for her hand in marriage. They were engaged one year and their marriage lasted seven years. Gene was killed in a car accident on November 7, 1999.
   Who says love only comes in fairy tales?  Her book deals with Kathy’s experiences after Gene’s death, and how Kathy leaned on God and depended on her faith to get her through the hardship of losing her beloved husband.

From the NWRW's recent book "Creative Reflections" one of Kathy's stories.    Creative Reflections


   Growing up I didn't see much of my dad. When I did he was always working. Yes, I saw him at the supper table.  I saw him in the fields working his land.  I saw him milking cows. My dad was there for me and yet I didn't know my dad until I was married and we both lived in Clayton, WI in 1972. 
Then my dad became my friend. Then I knew my dad as someone who loved to dance, go bowling and attend church. Then I knew him as someone who grew and harvested an eight acre garden. My dad always worked hard in his life.  That much I do remember. Dad always working, working, and working until the day he died in December 1977.
Dad also taught me about finances. I remember him reading Kiplinger's magazine about what was the best car to buy in that year or what refrigerator was good to buy. Kiplinger’s magazine often faced me as I was doing my schoolwork around the kitchen table. 
Dad read at it night while I did my schoolwork. Mom made Dad's lunch for work the next morning.   He went to bed at 9 pm every night and got up at 3 am every morning. He worked at Stella Cheese in Clayton, Wisconsin.  He also had a farm outside of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin on Hwy 63.  Like I said, Dad worked hard
Over the years of my own life I've implemented the ethics of working hard. Unlike my dad I became sick with schizophrenia and my health doesn't allow me to work as hard as I did when I was younger. However, I didn't let schizophrenia stop me from working as much as I am capable of doing. Mom always said that God helps those who help themselves. I’ve tried to work at the things this body will allow me to do. Another one of Mom's saying was where there's a will there's a way find the way.
Between Dad teaching me to work hard and mom being strong and teaching me to become independent and yes, some people call me stubborn. I have come to a place in my life where I can truthfully say I've done my best. I was a divorced single mom for a long time and taught my children what dad taught me. Work and work hard.    Each of my children has said to me they are glad that I taught them how to work.  All three of them have always held down some type of job.  Sometimes they have held down as many as three jobs at the same time.
Tonight as I sit here typing this up did I know my dad? The answer comes in the reward of a job well done. The answer comes when I lay my head down at night on my pillow and quote my dad as he used to say that he earned his salt today. The answer comes when the anniversary of his death comes around and I recall seeing him on the tractor out in the field plowing it up. The answer comes to me on a hot summer's day when people are out bailing hay and the smell of the flesh cut hay assails into my memory.
Did I know my dad? Perhaps you did. His name was Joseph Donatell of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin and later on Clayton, Wisconsin.  
I hope some of you knew my dad for he was always kind and thoughtful of others. Perhaps about my life someone would remember me in the same way I remember my dad...with love and honor and respect.
Yes Dad, you did earn your salt.
Kathy had a difficult life.  She worked hard to make her way and writing was one of her outlets to help her cope.  


Here’s another saga about our old home! Yes, it’s about the bird’s eye view from a child’s point of view. The home of my youth had dormer windows in the upstairs. They were big enough for me to crawl into and lie down and take a nap in when I was about 4 feet tall. I would go upstairs in the daytime and pretend that these dormer windows were a ship! I was the lady on the ship being taken captive by the pirates!

Oh yes, the eyes of a child. On my ship I became the lady of the hour all dressed in fine linen and silk. Adventure at high sea where the Captain asked me to escort him to a ball on shore at a seaport.

Dressed in fine linen? Nothing but the best for my lady, says the Captain. At the banquet where oranges, apples, pineapples and all sorts of good food which comes from exotic lands. Nothing but the best would do! My Captain was handsome in his blue coat with gold roping and white leggings! A big hat with white feathers was his headdress. Oh yes, the best money could buy. We danced and laughed with other people that were at the ball.

KATHY, KATHY!! K-A-T-H-Y.  Alas! All too soon my dream would be cut short never to know the ending. My mother waking me up and scolding me for having had wasted another day when she thought I should have been helping her to pull weeds!

Now, those dormer windows are gone and I’ll never get to know the end of that beautiful ball.