Mark Leroy Kraay was born in Spokane, Washington on January 20, 1953 to Dwane and Flo Kraay. While growing up in Spokane he played legion baseball and was drum major at North Central High. At the age of twenty Mark sold all of his possessions and hitch-hiked to Nebraska to work for his father and grandfather on their farm. He enrolled at Midland College in Fremont, NE in 1975. It was here where he would meet his future wife Lora, through a mutual friend. They started dating in February 1976 and were married on November 3, 1984.
Over the years he worked as a salesman for a number of different companies. It was not until 1990, when he was hired by LaRue Coffee, that he found his vocational passion. He would continue to work for LaRue for another twenty-nine years, building relationships with people from all walks of life. In October 2018 he retired from running his coffee route, to focus on household tasks and to await the birth of his first grandchild.
For much of his life, Mark struggled with alcohol. Blessedly, through chastisement from various people and family, as well as an act of divine intervention, the trajectory of his problem reversed. Shortly after his daughter was born in 1993, Mark quit drinking for good. From then on, he would use the story of his battle with alcohol as a testament to the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the healing that he offers all people.
Throughout his life Mark considered his greatest accomplishment to be raising his two children: Brent and Sarah. He was a dedicated father who was always present to support them and their dreams. Even as adults, his children remained very close to him and enjoyed his frequent company.
Mark would have been the first person to tell you that he was far from perfect, but his kind heart and welcoming smile left a lasting impact on so many throughout his life. He was known for telling great stories and for sharing his faith journey with anyone who would listen. He will be missed.
He is survived by his wife Lora; Son, Brent(Rebecca) Kraay; daughter, Sarah Kraay; granddaughter, Lucille Kraay; mother, Flo Fiveash; father, Dwane Kraay as well as sister, Linda Tennesen; brother, Anthony (Carol) Kraay. Also nieces, Stepanie Putnam; Margo(David) Lipari; and nephew Richard Putnam.
Memorials can be directed to The Open Door Mission.