Born: September 23, 1958
Died: July 15, 2014
Joseph William Kraut, Jr., M.D., age 55, died at Pinnacles National Park from a fall while rock climbing with a good friend on July 15th.
Born September 23rd, 1958 in Washington D.C. the eldest of five children of Dr. Joseph William Kraut, Sr. and Patricia Jean Kraut, Joe attended St. Catherine’s School in Morgan Hill, Burnett Junior High in Morgan Hill and, in 1976, graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. After threatening to skip college unless allowed to attend the smallest school in the California State University system, Joe entered CSU Stanislaus. While at Turkey Tech, Joe was actively involved in both basketball and theater where his performances on both court and stage were marked more for their passion than skill.
After graduating summa cum laude in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Chemistry Joe entered the Peace Corps and was stationed for two years in Wa, Ghana, where he taught high school science and coached the basketball team. Even though he lived through a government coup during his time in Ghana, Joe valued his experience there and planned to extend his service until a serious illness forced him home. Joe continued to be actively involved with the Peace Corps community throughout his life.
Returning to the Bay Area in the early eighties, Joe tended bar at Paolo’s restaurant in San Jose and the Gilroy Hotel while attending San Jose State University. In 1984, his only child Rebecca Lynn Kraut was born and promptly become the apple of her father’s eye. In 1986, Joe entered Rush Medical College in Chicago, earning his Doctorate of Medicine in 1990. He performed his residency in internal medicine at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. In 1993, he realized his dream and started his own medical practice first in Hollister and then Morgan Hill where he practiced for many years alongside his father. Joe quickly became a well-respected physician known for his compassion and care to all of his patients.
In 1995, on a blind date set up by his cousin Shirley O’Neill, he met the love of his life Becky Kroll who was living at that time in Boise, Idaho. Joe and Becky conducted a long-distance relationship while raising their respective children in separate states and during Becky’s attendance at medical school in Utah. Upon her graduation in 2008, the two became engaged and Becky completed her residency at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. In 2012, Joe and Becky set up a medical practice together and on August 10, 2013 finally married in a beautiful ceremony at St. Mary’s in Gilroy where both were active members of the Catholic community.
Long interested in trekking and having traveled to Nepal on more than one occasion, in later years Joe developed a keen interest in rock and ice climbing, a love he shared with his wife, daughter, stepsons and nephews. Eschewing the typical Wednesday golf game, Joe kept regular rock climbing dates at the Pinnacles with a few good friends. In addition to his outdoor activities, Joe loved getting together with family and friends. He was the gentle, giant “Uncle Joe” to his many nieces and nephews always finding a limitless amount of time and patience and often to be found on the floor wrestling two or three of them at a time.
Joe is survived by his beloved wife Dr. Becky Kroll-Kraut of Morgan Hill, his daughter Rebecca Kraut of Gilroy, his stepsons Dr. Nicholas Kroll of Fresno, CA and Krister Kroll of Helena, MT, his stepdaughter Karina Kroll of Gilroy, his mother Patricia Kraut of Morgan Hill, his sisters Mary Kraut of Los Gatos, CA, Frances Dolida of El Dorado Hills, CA and Karen Kraut of Burlingame, CA and his brother Matthew Kraut of Shell Beach, CA. Joe was preceded in death by his father Dr. Joseph William Kraut, Sr.
Joe will be remembered for his irreverent sense of humor, his love of classic rock, his amusing and often touching Facebook posts and his adventurous spirit, but most of all, he will be remembered for the devotion and love he gave his family and friends and the kindness and attention he showed to all he met.
Visitation will be Tuesday, July 22, 2014 beginning at 3:00 P.M. Vigil Service will be held Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:00 P.M. at St. Mary's Church, 11 First Street, Gilroy, CA.
Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:00 A.M. also at St. Mary's Church. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Memorial Park, Morgan Hill.
If you would like to make a donation to the Joseph Kraut Jr Memorial Scholarship Fund which is being set up for students planning to practice medicine in the South County, please make checks payable to: Joseph Kraut Jr Memorial Fund – SLRH Medical Staff and mail to: Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Medical Staff Office, 9400 No Name Uno Gilroy, CA 95020.