Dr. Rudolph “Rudy” R. Kraus, 75, of Fayette died Monday, October 2, 2017 at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics in West Union surrounded by his loving family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 6, 2017, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Fayette with Rev. Don Komboh and Rev. James Brokman concelebrating. Military Rites will be recited by American Legion Post #339 of Fayette following Mass. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 5, at Becker-Milnes Funeral home in Fayette and for one hour preceding mass at the church on Friday. There will be a memory sharing service at 7:00 p.m. and scripture service at 7:30 p.m., both on Thursday at the funeral home. As per Rudy's request there will be no formal viewing. Following services Rudy's body is being deeded to the University of Iowa for the advancement of medical education. Memorials may be made in Rudy’s name to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Fayette, Palmer Memorial Foundation, Fayette Community Library or North Fayette Valley Fine Arts Boosters.
He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Martha (Wolfe) Kraus, and their children, Karl Kraus and wife Tiffany, Sarah Waldoch and husband Chad, Kate Miller and husband Chris, Maggie Gardner and husband Mark, and grandchildren Zach DeClusin (24), Isabelle Gardner (19), Kohl Kraus (17), Sierra Arthur (16), Chloe Gardner (15), Abby Kraus (14), Ben Miller (13), Cameron Gardner (11), Ruby Gardner (7) and Sophia Gardner (7) and one sister, Mary Kraus.
Rudy was preceded in death by one son, Benedict Matthew Kraus, parents, Richard and Marjorie (Falconer) Kraus, brother, John and sister-in-law, Gloria.
After a brief period as a practicing dentist in Kalona, Iowa, Rudy became “the village dentist” for Fayette in 1982, having graduated from Loras College and the University of Iowa Dental School. Also a licensed pharmacist, Dr. Kraus served patients from around the country for thirty years until his retirement in 2012. His goal as a dentist was to improve the oral health of his patients as painlessly as possible while respecting their wishes. As much as he enjoyed his profession, it was the relationships he developed with his patients that he prized most.
Rudy served four years active duty in the United States Air Force performing duties as an Ordinance Lieutenant in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict. Later he became a member of the Iowa Army National Guard serving as a dentist. He eventually transitioned to the Army Reserves from which he retired as a Colonel in 2002. He continued his commitment to the country by becoming active in the American Legion Post #339 of Fayette.
Throughout his life Dr. Kraus was committed to serving his community beyond his role as the local dentist. He served as a member of the city council, on the Upper Iowa Board of Trustees, the library Board of Trustees, and the city tree board. He was also a general cheerleader for Fayette and Upper Iowa University.
When he retired from his dental practice he became a hospice volunteer and served as member and chair of the Palmer Memorial Hospital Foundation Board. He has also been an active lay minister at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Fayette.
Rudy enjoyed many hobbies including running, gardening (was a master gardener), kayaking, and birding, but mostly anything his grandchildren did.