Obituary: Robert Edward Kran, Sr., 92, Free Soil.

June 20, 2017

Robert and Aldonna Kran

Obituary: Robert Edward Kran, Sr., 92, Free Soil.

Robert Edward Kran, Sr. 92 of Free Soil, passed away on Sunday June 18, 2017 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus in Grand Rapids.

He was born on January 30, 1925 in Free Soil, the son of the late John P. and Barbara (Kaupas) Kran.  On May 25, 1946 he married Aldonna Yanusz in Fountain.  They shared the joys and challenges of raising their family on the dairy farm.  In later years, they had special times traveling across the country visiting their family, grandchildren and family friends.  Aldonna preceded Robert in death on February 11, 1999, after 53 years of marriage.

At an early age Robert was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a deterioration of the retina.  His diminishing vision and later blindness did not deter his unique curiosity of the world around him and especially all things mechanical.  He was always curious of how things worked and how he could build things and improve on what was available.  He worked on Model A’s, doodle bugs, John Deere tractors and farm equipment; always thinking of ways to make them more efficient.  He also was the main dairy cow milker.  His lack of vision was not obvious to those around him because of the skills Robert developed to help him function and the tools to adapt to his needs.  He was very clever.

In later years he could often be found at his workbench, with the tools exactly where they needed to be.  He was a member of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club for 35 years.  Although not being able to contribute physically, he was a source of knowledge for old tractors, how they ran and why they might not run.

A blessing in his life, was the Michigan Library for the Blind talking books.  The books arrived weekly and the subjects ranged from weekly news magazines, autobiographies from presidents to blues singers, ancient history and Louis L’Amour westerns. He was an inspiration to many. His curiosity of the world and people was his greatest trait. Being blind did not discourage his enthusiasms. He would say, “let me grab your arm and let’s go.” He would often greet people with, “you are looking good.”

Robert was especially proud of his Lithuanian heritage and really enjoyed the potluck dinners that the group held.  He loved polka music, looked forward to family gatherings, enjoyed parties and was an engaging conversationalist.

His family was his greatest joy.  Robert is survived by his son, Robert (Betty) Kran, Jr. of Free Soil; three daughters: Patsy (Chuck) Hagerman and twin daughters Jean (Ross Schneider) Kettler and Janice (Jerry) Denby all of Ludington; grandchildren: John (Shannon) Kran, Carrie Kran, Jacquelyn (Dan) Reeder, Krista (Todd) Johnson, Mary Ellen Lang, JW (Carrie) Denby and Danny (Spring) Kettler;  great-grandchildren: Brianna Crossman, Emmarose Thayer, Alex and Brad Johnson, Haley and Andrew Reeder, Anela and Allison Kettler, Amanda Denby, Josie Lang and Oliver Kran; great-great-grandchildren: Kighlee and Alayna Crossman; sister, Sophie Yanusz; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Aldonna; brother-in-law, Albert Yanusz; and brother and sister-in-law, Glen and Frances Figgins.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington from 5 to 7 p.m. A service will be held on Friday, June 23, 2017 at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington at 1:30 p.m. with a one hour visitation prior to service at 12:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions in memory of Robert may be directed to the Western Michigan Old Engine Club, Mason County Senior Meal Program or the Michigan Library for the Blind.  Please feel free to share a memory or photo with the family at  

The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Ludington.

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