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Mary Lou Kraus of Anita

Mary Lou Kraus, age 88, of Anita, passed away on Friday, February 23, 2024, at Heritage House in Atlantic, Iowa. She was born July 14, 1935, to Leonard and Florentine (Stork) Schettler at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. She attended school in Mt. Carmel, Iowa and graduated with the class of 1953, afterwards working as an aide at St. Anthony Hospital. On April 24, 1956, Mary Lou married Merlin Kraus at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Mt. Carmel. The couple farmed near Auburn, Lidderdale, and then Breda before purchasing their own farm south of Anita, Iowa in 1968.

Mary Lou and Merlin were blessed with 6 children: Debbie, Donna, Darlene, Barbara, Michael and Annette. The family attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Anita where Mary Lou was a member of the Altar & Rosary Society. She held most of the office positions of the American Legion Auxiliary over the years and was a frequent volunteer for the Red Cross blood drives. She enjoyed joining her neighbors at their Lazy Ladies club meetings. In addition to the ongoing duties of a busy mom and farm wife, Mary Lou also sold Avon products and worked at the Redwood Steakhouse for many years. Mary Lou was a talented seamstress. She designed and stitched many quilts and sewed a large variety of dresses and outfits for her five daughters, including beautiful wedding gowns. She loved to knit and crochet, and she crafted detailed wardrobes for all the Barbie dolls in the house. In more recent years she used her sewing skills to make colorful and unique dresses for the “Little Dresses for Africa” Christian organization. Mary Lou’s family will remember her as a master pie maker, she could whip one up in no time when friends and family were coming, and she always provided pies for bake sales and funeral lunches.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by her husband, Merlin, on December 23, 2022. Also preceding her was her daughter, Barbara Kraus Dierks in 2009, her parents, Leonard and Florentine Schettler, her parents in-law, Fred and Emma Kraus, son-in-law, Sidney Stepp, sisters-in-law Edna Schettler, Mary Schettler, Vera Schettler, brothers-in-law Paul (Norma) Kraus, Al (Irene) Kraus and Bob Kraus, sisters-in-law Dorothy (Harry) Behrens, and Louise (Jim) Owens.

Surviving Mary Lou are her children Debbie Stepp, Donna (Denny) Culbertson, Darlene (Mark) Littleton, Mike (Ruthie) Kraus, and Annette (David) Raubvogel, son-in-law Duke Dierks, 12 grandchildren, a step grandson and 11 great grandchildren. Also surviving are her brothers Donald Schettler, Norman (Diane) Schettler, John (Judy) Schettler, Marvin (Fran) Schettler, Leo (Kathy) Schettler, sister Elaine (Paul) Rust, sister-in-law Kathy Kraus, and many dear nieces, nephews and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Anita, IA with Fr. Trevor Chicoine as the Celebrant. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at St. Mary’s Church. A luncheon will be held following mass in the church’s fellowship hall. Internment will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Adel, IA.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or the American Legion Auxiliary. The Kraus family would like to give heartfelt thanks to the staff at Heritage House and Hospice of the Midwest for their care of our beloved mother over the past few years. Schmidt Family Funeral Home of Anita is caring for Mary Lou and her family at this time and condolences can be sent at: schmidtfamilyfh.com

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