COOPERSTOWN – Kevin Gerard Kraft, 55, of Cooperstown, chose to end his life on Dec. 12, 2019.
He lived with intensity, honesty and purpose. He lived his life on his terms, accomplished great things and touched the lives of many. In the end, battling with depression, he decided his time had come.
Kevin graduated from Saugerties High School as class president. He then went on to further his education by earning his certification as a professional chef from SUNY Cobleskill. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in American History from SUNY Oneonta and a master’s in Modern American History from Syracuse University.
He was working toward completion of his doctorate when he joined the Marines, where he held the rank of captain. Kevin’s deployments included Kuwait, Iraq, the demilitarized zone in Korea and Somalia. His love and experiences as a Marine shaped him for the rest of his life.
Kevin owned a real estate firm in Southern California, then founded Valley Brook Farm in Cooperstown and later he founded BlastKraft, LLC.
A driven and athletic man, Kevin competed in four Ironman Triathlons, completing two; a 4,000 mile Trans-America bicycle tour from California to Washington, D.C.; a mountain bicycle tour in the People’s Republic of China; and multiple weight-lifting competitions.
Generous and kind, Kevin rescued, fostered, and helped find forever homes for more than 100 Basset Hound. He was a problem-solver and always ready to help others. Countless people turned to him for practical and other kinds of support.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Amber, to whom he was devoted. He leaves behind his father, Robert “Bob” Kraft and his step-mom, Mickey Kraft; his mother, Judith Kraft; brother, Christopher Kraft; sister, Kelly Meyer; step-sister, Cheri Beberwyk; as well as their families; and also his best friend and cousin, Bill Gerard; his extended family; as well as many caring friends.
A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. He will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, please express your sympathy by making a contribution to ABC Basset Hound Rescue, P.O. Box 272, Buffalo, NY 14225, www.nybasset.org or Stop Soldier Suicide, P.O. Box 110605, Durham, NC 27709, or at their website at www.stopsoldiersuicide.org.
Condolences to the family may be shared at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.