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RED LODGE - Katherine L. (Kucera) Kracaw, 60, of Red Lodge, formerly of Laurel, passed away Monday, May 5, 2003, following an eight-month illness. She was born on Jan. 31, 1943, in Billings, to Edwin and Ellen (Reardon) Kucera of Laurel.

Kathy grew up in Laurel, attending and graduating from Laurel Public Schools. Following high school, she attended Billings Business College for one year. She later moved to Sacramento, Calif., where she worked for the California State Dept. of Motor Vehicles. While there, she met and married Michael A. Kracaw, who was serving in the U.S. Navy at the time. Following service obligations, they remained in California until 1968, when the family returned to Montana. They stayed in Montana until 1971, when they moved to Iowa. They subsequently moved to Wisconsin, where they remained until August 2002, when they returned to Montana, retiring to Red Lodge.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edwin and Ellen Kucera; and a brother, Anthony E. Kucera.

Kathy was wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many. She will be greatly missed by all. Kathy enjoyed her family and friends as well as numerous crafts, hobbies and travel.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Mike; children and grandchildren, a son, Kurtis M. Kracaw, his wife Kristin and children Zackariah and Kassandra, all of Two Rivers, Wis.; a daughter, Jennifer A. Kracaw of Lincoln, Ill.; a son, Peter A. Kracaw, his wife Josephine and children Alicia, April and Joshua, all of Two Rivers, Wis.; and a daughter, Sarah K. Mueller, her husband Leon and children Abigail and Molly.

She is further survived by a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Judy and Michael McGrath of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and their children, Timothy, Patrick and Kelly and their families; her wonderful aunt, Margret Hirschfelt of Laurel; and very special friends, Wally and Claudia Miller of Butte, and Robert and Rita Ryder and Kim of Laurel, and Linda Shaw of Red Lodge; and numerous first, second and third cousins which complete a very strong extended family.

The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to Dr. Donald Twito, the Deaconess Billings Clinic staff, as well as Drs. William George and Clint Hauxwell and their clinic staff, and the staff of Beartooth Hospital & Health Center in Red Lodge.

Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service is being planned for mid-summer in Red Lodge. Relatives and friends will be notified of the date. Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel of Red Lodge is assisting the family with arrangements.

The family requests donations to either of the following: Deaconess Billings Clinic Cancer Program Endowment of Billings, MT 59101; or Beartooth Hospital & Health Center; Box 590, Red Lodge, MT 59068.

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