Friends and family,
We are honored by your presence to rejoice in the life of Don Krotz. In this unprecedented time of the coronavirus, the family appreciates health concerns for each individual. Your very presence can be our hug, or a handshake, or a symbol of condolence. If you so choose, please wear a mask; you will in no way offend the family. Don loved individual freedoms, and he was concerned about the pandemic. He would have wanted all of his friends to be safe while celebrating his life. - Don's family
Donald Joe Krotz of rural Cuba, KS was born on January 25, 1931 to Joseph and Julia (Mottl) Krotz. He died on June 14, 2020 at Belleville, KS at the age of 89 years, 4 months, and 20 days. Don was born in the home in which he lived the rest of his life, with the exception of his four years in the U.S. Armed Forces.
After graduating from Belleville High School in 1948, Don farmed with his father for several years. In 1952, he entered the United States Air Force. From 1952 until 1956 he was stationed in several states and traveled the world as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean Conflict. In 1956, Don was honorably discharged while stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas and married Geneva Ruth Goodall of Little Rock a few days later on April 5, 1956 at Geneva’s grandparent’s home in Atkins, Arkansas. The couple returned to the Krotz family farm between Belleville and Cuba, Kansas. To this union three children were born.
For over sixty years after returning to Kansas, Don farmed, with the assistance of his father the first years, and with the assistance of Geneva for the sixty years of their marriage. Besides the crops they raised, Don and Geneva had cattle for numerous years. In the early-1980s, they expanded to an extensive hog operation of generally over 1,000 head, which became their primary source of work and income for the next twenty years. Don also occasionally held jobs in woodworking, construction, and manufacturing in and around Belleville throughout the years to supplement the farm income. Don retired from the hog operation in the early 2000s, but continued to manage the farming of his land and his family’s land until his death.
In his youth, Don was a long-time Republic County 4-H member of the Salt Creek Club.
He attended Jefferson Center school for his first eight years and then attended Belleville High School where he especially enjoyed the FFA organization, attaining the State FFA degree his senior year. Don was a Master Mason in the Cuba Lodge A.F. and A.M. He also spent numerous years assisting in the design and building of play sets for high school drama productions. Don was an avid learner of a variety of subjects. He immensely enjoyed frequent trips to public libraries and museums. Two of his special interests were the U.S. Civil War and the history of farm machinery. He enjoyed being an enthusiastic supporter of his community and his agriculture community, whether through Czechoslovakian heritage events; county fairs; community coffee clubs; FFA and 4-H events; or through watching sports competitions with his wife, particularly basketball, in which their children and grandchildren or any local students participated.
He was preceded in death by his wife Geneva in 2016; his parents; sister Harriet Barnett and husband Ben, sister Evelyn Polak and husband Leonard, and nephew Gene Barnett.
Don is survived by his three children: daughter Debra Krotz of Belleville, son Richard (Leah) Krotz of rural Deshler, Nebraska, son Randy Krotz and fiance Kathrin Terzo of Wildwood, Missouri; three grandchildren: James (Haileigh) Krotz of West Lafayette, Indiana; Garrison Krotz and fiance Madeleine Wilmsen of Chicago, Illinois; and Juliana Krotz Kroeger (Jeremy) of Dannebrog, Nebraska; and nephews and nieces.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home in Belleville with Deb Hadachek CRE officiating the funeral and Pastor Leah Krotz the graveside service. Burial will be in Belleville Cemetery with a military service at the gravesite. Visitation is from 1-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, with family greeting friends and family on Wednesday evening, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Republic County Hospital or to the Republic County High School FFA Chapter, and may be sent in care of the funeral home. Online condolences at www.tibbettsfischerfuneralhome.com. Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home of Belleville assisted the Krotz family with these arrangements.