Gary R. Kratzke


Gary Robert Kratzke, age 73, of Motley and formerly of North Mankato, died Monday, June 6,  2022, at Senior Class Community in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.

Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran  Church in North Mankato. Visitation will be held from 4 -7 p.m., Monday at Northview-North  Mankato Mortuary, 2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato and will continue one hour before  the service at the church on Tuesday. Burial at Woodland Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to MAYBA, Mankato West Booster Club or the Alzheimer’s  Association at

Gary was born March 17, 1949, to Raymond and Selma (Engel) Kratzke in Mankato. He  graduated from Mankato High School in 1967 and from Mankato State with a BS Degree in  1971. Gary was married on October 7, 1972, to Julie Graif in Mankato. Together they had three  children. Julie died in 1994. Gary married Laurel Tennessen on August 30, 1996, in Mankato.

Gary started working for Matt J. Graif Clothing in 1973 and bought the store in 1982. Gary sold  the store and retired from retail in 2012. Gary and Laurel moved to the Brainerd Lakes  Area in 2013 and enjoyed his retirement years.

Gary was a member of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in North Mankato, Mankato Sertoma  Club, Brainerd Area Sertoma Club, former YMCA board member, MAYBA, Mankato West  Booster Club, and the Mankato Golf Club. Gary was a talented athlete and was active in sports  throughout his life. He especially enjoyed coaching his children’s youth sports teams. He cared  about his young players and taught them life values besides the skills of the game. Gary’s  grandchildren were a joy in his life, and he was proud to watch them excel in his favorite games,  baseball and football. Gary enjoyed riding bike, golfing, watching sports, gardening, and boating.

Gary’s memory will be forever cherished by his wife, Laurel of Motley;  three children, Joseph (Jill) Kratzke of North Mankato, Jillian (Neil) McLyn of Cave Creek, AZ,  Justin “Gus” (Nakita) Kratzke of Minneapolis; four grandchildren, Jacen Kratzke, Jakeb Kratzke,  Benjamin McLyn, and Charlie McLyn; two sisters, Joyce (Steve) Oachs of Mankato, Marilyn  (Charles) Christiansen of St. Peter; father-in-law, Mel Tennessen of Brewster; in-laws, Leslie  (Mark) Slater, Melanie (Doug) Peterson, Dawn (Darren) Murphy, Matt (Shelly) Tennessen,  Krystal (Brent) Bohnsack, Andy (fiancé Heather Peters) Tennessen; nieces, nephews, and  cousins and his beloved golden retriever, Champ, who never left his side.

Gary was preceded in death by with his parents; wife, Julie; sister, Carol  Hanel and mother-in-law, Carol Tennessen.

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