Richard Albert Kraft, of Crystal Lake, passed away surrounded by family on Monday, April 19, 2021 at the age of 92.
He was born December 22, 1928 in Chicago, the son of the late Richard A. and Bernice Kraft.
Richard married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen, in 1950. They were married until her passing in 2003. In 2004, he met Deanna who was his companion until her recent death in February this year.
Richard was President and COO of Matsushita Electric Corp. of America (Panasonic). He was the first American to hold such a high-ranking position in a Japanese company. His career accomplishments include 13 US patents for television electronics, a team leader to develop and manufacture the first commercial rectangular color tube, headed product development for Instamatic Color Tuning and Works-in-a-Drawer TV. Richard was deeply involved in planning and operations of 23 factories and 5 sales companies in North America.
He received an honorary Doctorate of Engineer from Purdue University and was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.
Following retirement, Richard was an active member of the Crystal Lake Lions Club, a volunteer with the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, and enjoyed playing ping-pong, billiards, and fishing.
Richard is survived by his daughters, Karen, Nancy (Michael) Freese, Linda (Darryl) Racki, Kathryn (the late Oscar) Velasco, Joni (Bob Budacki) Kraft and Lisa (Steve) Kelly; his grandchildren, Heather Douglass, Brian, Randi, Katie and Kevin Freese, Andrew Racki, Kallie, Annie and Kassie Velasco, Megin Budacki, Taylor, Ryan and Meg Kelly; his great-grandchildren, Payton and Addison Douglass, Elizabeth and Molly Freese, MJ Zalud, Winnie and Griffin Wilson, and Tyler Freese; his brother, Robert (Mary) Kraft; and sister-in-law JoAnn Kraft
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary Ellen Kraft; brother, Carl Kraft; and son-in-law, Oscar Velasco.
Visitation will be held Friday, April 23, from 3-7 p.m. at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave (Rt. 176) Crystal Lake. The funeral service will be held Saturday, April 24 at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation in Richard's name to the charity of your choice.
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