On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Irene Louise Kraft passed away at the age of 96 at Cypress Cove Senior Living Community Center in Fort Myers, Florida.
Born Irene Louise Bultemeier on September 21, 1924 on the family farm near Decatur, Indiana to Lawrence and Ida Bultemeier, Irene was the fourth of eight children. Along with daily chores on the farm, Irene was active in 4H and elected Adams County 4H queen. She also played the Hawaiian guitar in a band, The Silver Star Hawaiians, with her sisters Delores and Hilda, along with three more cousins. Irene attended school at St. John Lutheran Church-Bingen until attending high school at Hoagland High, where she met the love of her life Lambert (Bert) Ira Kraft. The high school sweethearts married June 24th 1946 at St John Lutheran Church-Bingen in Decatur. They remained married for 68 years until Lambert’s passing in 2014.
A devoted Lutheran, Irene and Bert were active members of Antioch Lutheran Church during their time in Indiana and then at Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Estero, Florida where Irene was a longtime member of the Altar Guild.
Irene worked at G.E. In Fort Wayne during WWII, helped with bookkeeping for Bert’s business, worked in the office for a local physician in Ft Myers, and worked for General Telephone, now Verizon, as a service rep until her retirement. Irene was also an accomplished seamstress.
During retirement Irene and Bert spent years traveling the world. She loved spending time with her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Irene also discovered a love of golf and became an active member of the Ladies Golf Association at the Villages of Country Creek, where she played regularly well into her 90s. She was the club champion of her division on several occasions, and even scored a hole in one!
After Bert’s passing in 2014 Irene enjoyed spending summers in Indiana with her younger sister Delores where she was thrilled to be able to visit her grandchildren and even meet brand new great-grandchildren.
Irene was a kind, gentle and loving sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. She will be dearly missed.
Irene is survived by her three sons, John Kraft and Sue Martz of Cape Coral, Dan Kraft of Fort Myers, and Tim and Liz Kraft of Dallas; grandchildren, Todd, Tim, John, Jamie, Robby, Chris, and Kelly; and great-grandchildren; Jacob, Loren, Taylor, Allyson, Hailey, Adalynn and Eliza; great-great-grandchildren, Bastian and Jude. Also survived by siblings Wilmer Bultemeier, Delores Scherer, Donald Bultemeier, and Kenneth Bultemeier.
Preceded in death by her husband Lambert, and siblings Melvin, Hilda, and Delbert.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Lamb of God Church, P.O. Box 867, Estero, FL 33928 or www.lambofgodchurch.net
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