On January 11, 2018, the town of Kingsley, Iowa, lost one of its most devoted residents and supporters.
Margaret “Peg” Kraft-Green passed away peacefully at her home when she went to meet her Lord and Savior.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 15, 2018 at New Life Baptist Church in Kingsley with Rev. Ken Kraft officiating. Burial was in Kingsley Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to rohdefh.com.
Peg was born in Kingsley, February 18, 1926, the youngest daughter of G.W. (Bill) and Frances (Foster) Bainbridge.
Aside from some childhood years during the Great Depression, when her family lived in North Dakota and Minnesota, Peg spent her years living a full life in Kingsley.
She was salutatorian of her class at Kingsley High School, graduating with the class in 1943. She then obtained her teaching certificate from Western Union (later Westmar) in Le Mars, Iowa and briefly taught in a rural school.
In November 1944, she married Eugene “Gene” Kraft, who was serving in the Navy at the time.
In 1947, Peg and Gene opened a dry-cleaning business called Kraft Kleaners to serve the small town. Working side-by-side with her husband, they made sure all the local residents looked their Sunday best in clean, spot-free clothes.
Over the years, Peg and Gene also raised four children, with each child learning the family business and helping at “the shop.”
In 1975, Gene was diagnosed with a rare illness. He passed away later in the year.
Peg was determined to keep the family business going and her son, Doug, joined her in that effort.
Together, they expanded the business to include laundry services, tuxedo rentals, pillow cleaning, and rug cleaning services.
Many times, Peg was approached about retiring, to which she would say something like, “Why would I do that? I’d miss the people too much.” She certainly loved her work, her town, and the daily interaction with townspeople.
In 2007, the town of Kingsley honored Peg by naming her Grand Marshal of the annual Augustfest Parade. It was the same year Kraft Kleaners celebrated 60 years in business — a proud day for her.
Peg was 85 and still working every day when Kraft Kleaners was destroyed by a fire in February 2010. She continued working from her home, and she was glad to have a grandson carry on the long-standing business.
Not surprisingly, Peg was actively involved in her community and its many organizations. She was a member of the Kingsley Chamber of Commerce, P.E.O., the International Order of Eastern Star, and Eve’s Circle.
For years she served as the Mother Advisor for the local chapter of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls. As a member of the Kingsley United Methodist Church, she taught Sunday school for many years.
In 1999, Peg personally arranged and paid for angels to be painted in the dome of the Methodist Church, to restore it to how it was when she was younger. She wanted “the angels to watch over the congregation,” she said.
Peg also actively attended the Kingsley New Life Baptist Church and was a member of the local Legion Auxiliary. Over the years, Peg was on various boards and held many offices in a host of organizations. She always had something going on.
Peg was also deeply devoted to her family. She leaves behind three sons, all from Kingsley: Larry Kraft, Ken Kraft, and Doug (Vanease) Kraft; and one daughter, Julie Kraft (Richard Haynes) of Robins, Iowa. Also mourning her loss are 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Peg will be greeted in heaven by her parents; her husband, Gene (married 1944-1975); her husband, Dean Green (married 1994-1996); her daughter-in-law, Lei (Mrs. Ken Kraft); and her four older siblings.
The family wishes to thank the many people in Kingsley who have loved and supported Peg over the years; Barb March, who helped provide care for several months; Charles Knudsen; and Hospice of Siouxland for their kindness and caring in Peg’s final days.