The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Keith E. Krause

1934 to 2014

 

Keith E. Krause

1934 to 2014

Keith E. Krause passed away in his sleep on the morning of February 12, 2014 at the age of 79, after a long battle with leukemia.

Keith was born in Burwell, Neb. on Aug. 31, 1934. He was the eldest son of long time Sidney resident Doris R. Cronk. Keith spent 26 years as an Air Force pilot and retired in Austin, Texas, as a Lieutenant Colonel. For the next ten years, he worked for the state of Texas until health challenges forced him to retire. Despite his declining health, Keith lived to the fullest of his ability for the next 21 years. He stayed as mentally sharp as ever to the end, and never lost his sense of humor.

Keith grew up in Sidney, Nebraska and Peetz, Colorado with his five younger brothers, Don Krause, Spencer, Ron, Phil and Jerry Cronk. As the eldest son in a difficult time, he was a role model for his younger brothers. Keith was kind and generous in this role, and paved the way by going to college and working hard, helping his parents and his brothers. At the age of 11, he and younger brother Don (10) had the responsibility of delivering The Omaha World Herald newspaper to the entire North Side of Sidney. For many military personnel, hungry for war news as they traveled west by rail on troop trains in 1945, these two industrious youngsters were the welcoming face of Sidney as they, from the platform of the U.P. train depot, sold their newspapers for a nickel to the service men.

Keith was the valedictorian of his Peetz H. S. graduating class in 1952. An all-around athlete, he played football, basketball and baseball while attending Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado before attending Colorado School of Mines on a baseball scholarship, where he also played football. While at NJC, he became a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a scholastic honor society. Keith earned his undergraduate degree from University of Nebraska-Omaha and his master's degree from Auburn University. In 2011, he and four brothers were honored by the NJC Alumni Association at the 68th Annual Commencement Exercise.

Keith met his soul mate, Mary, in Lubbock, Texas, while he was stationed at Reese AFB as a flight instructor. They married and embarked on a grand adventure that lasted over five decades as they traveled the world and raised their two children, Kathy and Kerry. They were an excellent team; they supported each other and inspired their children to do well. Kathy and Kerry both followed in the military tradition by serving as officers in the US Navy before starting their careers in medicine and high tech.

Keith had a long and honorable career in the Air Force. He was a decorated combat pilot, a strong leader and friend to many. In 1965, he was deployed to the Vietnam War, where he flew over 100 missions, most of them hazardous sorties deep into North Vietnam while flying out of U'dorn. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as 10 Air Medals. He later taught combat defensive maneuvers at Bergstrom AFB, and served as Chief of Flight Safety in Europe, while based at Ramstein, Germany.

Keith is survived by his wife, Mary Darby Krause, his daughter Katherine Farady and son-in-law Michael Farady, his son Kerry Krause and daughter-in-law Carrie Krause, his grandchildren Allison, Emily and Ben Krause, his brothers Don (Ann) Denton, TX, Spencer (Treva) Coarsegold, Calif., Ron (LaDonna) Clarkdale, AZ, Phillip of Arvada, Colo., and Jerry (Cheryl) Bellevue, Neb., and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and relatives. He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, and will be greatly missed.

A well-attended celebration of Keith's life was held at the Hampton Inn Oak Hill hotel in Austin, TX on Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. A full military service was held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on Feb 24, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. The family asks that any donations be made to a veterans' charity of your choice.

 

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