Helen Smith Kraft

May 7th, 1939November 11th, 2015

Helen Kraft passed away at home from cancer on November 10, 2015 surrounded by family and under the care of TRU Hospice. She was 76 years old.  Helen was born in Armenia, Colombia, where her parents served as missionaries.   She attended boarding school in Quito, Ecuador from grades 1-12, and for the rest of her life felt the abandonment of being away from family at such a young age.  This led her to place her children and grandchildren first in all decisions.   

Helen is survived by her husband of 52 years Dick Kraft, a retired Professor of Education at CU-Boulder, daughter Julie, a program manager for AVNET, and two beloved grandsons Dean Nock (13) and Stuart Nock (9).  She was predeceased by son Dale Alan Kraft, at age 21 in 1987, a profoundly life-changing event for Helen and the rest of the family.   

In retrospect, it appears almost inevitable that a person renowned for her caring and sensitivity to others would choose the nursing profession. Helen completed her nurses training at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated with a B.S. in nursing from Wheaton (Illinois) College.  Helen’s career in nursing included time in a college health center, as a nursing instructor, visiting nurse, and ending her career in school health nursing for many years under the Boulder County Health Department.  Helen made use of her Spanish language skills in school and public health settings in the U.S. and overseas.  She accompanied her husband on many of his overseas assignments, and worked in rural clinics in Nicaragua and college health services in Tanzania.

While calling Boulder home since 1968, Helen traveled with her family throughout the world, often on her husband’s educational work in other countries, and later in retirement through river ships, cruises and land tours on most of the continents. This also involved extended stays in Nicaragua, Ecuador Chile, Portugal and Tanzania.    In Boulder, Helen was an active member of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church for almost half a century, singing in the choir, participating in educational programs and working in many of the local and international outreach programs, including immigrant refugee settlement in Boulder, a partner church in Chilpancingo, Mexico, and an AIDs orphanage in Tanzania.  She was also a member of P.E.O., a women’s educational and philanthropic organization.  In retirement, she enjoyed reading, attending the grandson’s sport activities and having coffee with nurses and other lifelong friends. 

Helen and her family have set up a Scholarship Fund and Endowment for students at the new Arusha Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing in Tanzania.  In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Helen Kraft Memorial Scholarship Fund and sent to Operation Bootstrap Africa, 625 4th Ave S #110, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

Services

Interment at Green Mountain Cemetery will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 15, 2015. A memorial service will follow at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 3485 Stanford Court, Boulder at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 15, 2015. 

Helen and her family have set up a Scholarship Fund and Endowment for students at the new Arusha Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing in Tanzania.  In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Helen Kraft Memorial Scholarship Fund and sent to Operation Bootstrap Africa, 625 4th Ave S #110, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

Cemetery

None

Location

None

Church

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church | Map

Condolences

We were so surprised and saddened to hear of Helen's death. She touched our lives very warmly on many occasions. We especially remember her reaching out to us when our son Dan died. But for many years before she, as well as Julie, were good friends to us and our daughter Jaimi. So many happy memories there. Just know we are so sorry for your loss and we will be praying...and remembering. With our love, Mary Grace and Del Elliott