Champion Yachtsman Insurance Agent H. Richard "Dick" Krauss, 99, of Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek, an avid yachtsman and insurance agent, died peacefully on August 1, 2008.
He was born July 17, 1909, to Henry H. and Clara Mary (Metzger) Krauss. He married Virginia Beckham on April 20, 1935, who, after 69 years of marriage, preceded him in death on May 3, 2004. He loved spending time with his friends and family and there were many wonderful parties celebrating birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.
He was a sportsman enjoying golf, bowling with Zenobia Shriners, and fishing on Lake Erie. He started sailing as a teenager and continued a successful career into his 80's when he hung up his sailing gear and got a new set of Pings. He began competitive racing in the Interlake Class in 1943 and subsequently switched to Lightnings. In 1950, he never lost any regatta he entered and won the International Lightning Championship in Point Abino, Ontario, Canada. He was the skipper of one of five crews invited by Argentine President, Juan Peron, to sail in Buenos Aires in the Pan American Games in 1955. He won the North American Dragon Class Championship in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Other wins include the Red Flannel Series in Chicago, The Royal Hamilton in Canada, and The Great Lakes Championship four times. With his Newport 30, Aquilla, Dick won the ILYA Regatta at Put-in-Bay in his class; and the Commodores' Cup among many others. In 1968 he was co-skipper on Griffin of LaSalle winning the Mills Trophy Race overall and was class winner in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race.
He was a great story teller especially about his adventures during the sailboat races. His friend, Jim Best, compiled a collection of his stories and had them printed in a booklet form. In 1954, he organized The National Collegiate sailing races at Toledo Yacht Club. It was a very successful event including 30 races in three days. He was faculty advisor for the University of Toledo Sailing Association for many years. Dick was Commodore of Toledo Yacht Club in 1956. He and several other sailors, founded North Cape Yacht Club in 1962 and he served as its second Commodore. He was first charter member and became an Emeritus Member of NCYC in 1990. He was Chief Measurer for the Lightning Class Association and president of the International Lightning Class Association in 1953. He was honorary chairman on the 2000 Mills Trophy Race.
There were many occasions during his successful racing career when Dick would take a total rookie aboard as part of his crew in order to teach about boating and racing in particular.
Today, there are many people who learned the art of sailing and racing because of their experiences with Dick, who unselfishly taught them his craft at the possible expense of losing a race. They, too, have a love of the sport and have enjoyed a lifetime of sailing because of him.
Dick was named to the Greater Toledo Athletic Hall of Fame in 1965 and the Libbey High School Hall of Fame in 1995. He became a Master Mason of Pyramid Lodge #701 on Febraury 15, 1945 (currently Sylvania-Pyramid Lodge #287), a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Toledo on May 1, 1951, and a Zenobia Shriner on October 27, 1951. Following graduation from Libbey High School in 1927 and the University of Toledo in 1932 with majors in chemistry and math and a minor in physics, Mr. Krauss taught high school and then opened a general insurance agency which is still operating as Krauss-Starr-Fox Agency.
In addition to his wife, Virginia, Dick was preceded in death by his son, Henry Richard Krauss Jr.; brothers, Robert and Marlen, and sister, Florence Rowell. Surviving are his sisters, Betty Miller, Toledo, Ruth Meyerholtz, Luna Pier, MI, and Gloria Byrne, Cheyenne, WY. Also surviving are his loving daughters, Kay (Wayne) Starr, Holland, OH, Karen (Thomas) Baither, Ottawa Hills, and Mary Jo (Gene) Hardy, Holland, OH; grandchildren, Wendy Starr Blossom, Columbus, OH, Jeffrey Starr, New York, NY, Beckett (Jeff) Kimble, Toledo, Thomas A. Baither, Jr., Toledo, Erin (Craig) Hoerig, Beavercreek, OH, Lindsay Hardy, Sylvania, Todd (Susan) Hardy, Playa Vista, CA, Greg (Stacey) Hardy, Austin, TX; great-grandchildren, Jordan, Matthew, and Nathan Blossom, Jonathan and Garrett Kimble, Spencer Hoerig, Hallie Marshall, and Keegan and Campbell Hardy, and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends and relatives from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at Sylvania United Church of Christ, 7240 Erie Street, Sylvania, OH on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 where a memorial service will be held to celebrate his life at 10:00 a.m. The family wishes to thank all of the administrators, nurses, aides, and caregivers at Wolf Creek for their loving and devoted care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial tributes be sent to: Shriners Hospitals for Children, Cincinnati, 3229 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229; North Cape Junior Sailing Program, 11850 Toledo Beach Road, LaSalle, MI 48145; Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek Activities Fund, 2001 Perrysburg-Holland Rd., Holland, OH 43528, or a charity of the donor's choice.