Neil Kratz, age 82, of Buffalo, passed away Wednesday, October 31, 2018 in Tyler, Texas following a brief illness. Funeral services were held 10 A.M., Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Walters’ Buffalo Funeral Home in Buffalo, Texas. Carol Harris, niece, officiated the service, and interment followed in Lummus Cemetery in the Flo Community of northern Leon County, Texas.
Pallbearers: Jeremy Young, Jacob Young, Joseph Schmidt, Phillip Steinberg, Patrick Schmidt, Tim House
Honorary Pallbearers: John Steinberg, Brandon Steinberg, Noah Harris
The oldest of five children born to Frank Edward & Alma (House) Kratz, Franklin O’Neil Kratz entered this world July 22, 1936 in Buffalo, Texas. Commonly known as Neil by his family and friends, he graduated high school in Oklahoma and worked as a welder most of his life. He married his bride, Nancy Jenkins, when she was only fifteen years and he, twenty. Nancy passed away at an early age in 1981, yet Neil always spoke fondly of his late wife and regularly commented that she would forever be the love of his life. Following years of living in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Kratz family settled in Neil’s hometown of Buffalo in the mid seventies.
Welding was a source of income for Neil and his family, but it was also something in which he was extremely talented. There wasn’t anything that Neil couldn’t fix. He often had calls from people all over Texas requesting items made from scratch or for repairs to old parts. Not only was Neil talented as a welder, but he held abilities in various other crafts, such as sewing, quilting and woodworking. He had once sewn a dress for his wife, Nancy, soon after they were married in which he had constructed the pattern out of an old grocery sack. Several family members were given by Neil, hand sewn quilts that he had quilted which will certainly be cherished and passed down for generations.
In his later years, Neil became a regular at several of the local fast food establishments in Buffalo. So much so that the girls working when he came in knew exactly what he was going to order to eat. But, Neil still made time to visit and eat dinner at the Buffalo Senior Center. He had always liked how Mrs. Patsy ran things and enjoyed the activities, games and fellowship with his friends at the center.
For a number of years, when Neil’s grandsons played football, his Fridays consisted of a good deal of travelling. He never stayed overnight, but he was bound and determined not to miss a game and even continued to go when the teams advanced to playoffs. Neil was definitely their biggest fan.
Neil and his brother-in-law, John, celebrated a yearly tradition of shopping on Black Friday. Every year, Neil would travel to Marion, near San Antonio, where John lived, and scour the local ads before Thanksgiving looking for the best “deals.” Most of the time the shopping spree would usually amount to a trip to I-Hop for breakfast. Just before his passing, Neil had made mention of getting ready for his yearly trip to San Antonio. That trip, along with many other priceless memories will be cherished by all who knew and loved Neil.
Neil was preceded in death by both of his parents; wife, Nancy Kratz; son, Richard “Toby” Kratz; brother, R.V. Kratz; sister, Frances Kratz and special grandparents, Tony & Violet House. Survivors include daughter, Sandy Kay Schmidt (Patrick) of Roswell, NM; sisters, Jean Steinberg (John) and Judy Webb, all of Marion, TX and grandsons, Jacob & Jeremy Young and Joseph O’Neil Schmidt. Neil is also survived by nieces, Carol Harris & Rosetta Moon and nephews, Phillip Steinberg & Daniel Webb.
Arrangements were under the direction of Walters’ Buffalo Funeral Home in Buffalo, Texas. www.buffalofuneralhome.com