Obituary of Mary Catherine Kraatz
July 22, 1920 – June 30, 2021
Mary Catherine Kraatz. Age 100 of Wyandotte.
Mary Catherine Kraatz (nee Foley) was born on July 22, 1920, in Detroit, Michigan. She was the eldest of Lillian and John Foley’s five children. Mary spent her childhood in a loving family with her siblings, her grandmother O’Connell (Ducky), and lifelong Foley family friend, Margaret Barnes (Mamie). Both of her parents were only children so there were no aunts, uncles, or cousins , which resulted in a close-knit, unwavering and loving bond between the siblings. Mary and her family were devoutly catholic and very active members of Holy Redeemer Parish. Mary graduated from Holy Redeemer High School in 1938. During World War II Mary ran the Holy Redeemer USO, organizing dances and events for the “boys”.
In 1950, she married Lionel Kraatz and had seven children. Lionel passed away in 1963, leaving Mary as the sole provider for their 7 children. To support her children, Mary worked first as a Police Matron and then as an administrative assistant for the City of Detroit Police Department. She retired from the Detroit Police Department in 1990, completing 30 years of service at age 70.
In retirement, Mary focused on what was most important to her - the ability to work and not get paid - a.k.a. volunteering. Her beloved Holy Redeemer and her Southwest Detroit community would benefit greatly from her strong commitment to community service. She was a volunteer tutor in Holy Redeemer’s Getting Educationally Motivated ( G.E.M.) room until her mid 90’s. She was on the Holy Redeemer Parish Council, was a Eucharistic Minister, and brought communion to the elderly parishioners unable to attend Mass. Mary was on the Board of the Southwest Detroit Empowerment Zone, a member of the Southwest Vicariate, and on the City of Detroit’s Council on Aging. She was active in every aspect of the Holy Redeemer Parish and in as many community organizations as possible. She was a tireless volunteer who truly enjoyed actively participating in her parish and her community. She was a shining example of faith, commitment and selflessness; always gracious, kind, polite, pleasant, and funny. Retirement also allowed her to travel with her lifelong friends on an annual basis. Cruising was a favorite for these ladies.
Mary was a devoted mother always encouraging her children to do better, be better, to give back, and take care of each other. Even during times of great personal tragedy, Mary persevered; remaining positive and hopeful, never complaining and without any self -pity, she did whatever needed to be done. Mary was constantly telling her children how much she appreciated them. She was (and will continue to be) absolutely adored by her grandchildren & great grandchildren who genuinely cherished her and every moment with her.
Mary completed her life on June 30, 2021. Mary was preceded in death by her husband Lionel, parents, daughter Jeanne Alaga, grandson Paul Sandoval, niece Elizabeth Foley, nephew Mark Arsenault, brothers John (Mae) Foley and Patrick Foley, sisters Aileen Foley and Margaret Arsenault, sisters-in-law Mae Foley and Delores McMillan-Arsenault. She is survived by sons James (Vicki); John; Bill (Elaine); Michael (Belinda); son-in-law Alan Alaga (Jeanne) ; and daughters Mary (Karl) Rutledge, Margaret (Anthony) Sandoval; 22 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren, brother-in-law George Arsenault,and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Holy Redeemer Elementary School
1711 Junction Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48209