Jola Gerstberger Kraus

Jola (Gerstberger) Kraus, 88, died on July 12th at Garden Valley Retirement Village in Garden City, Kansas. Jola was born on October 17, 1931 in Wichita County, Kansas, and she grew up in Marienthal, Kansas. Jola attended Marymount College in Salina, Kansas, earning an Associate's Degree in elementary education. She was the first lay teacher in 1951 at St. Mary's Catholic School in Garden City, Kansas, teaching fourth graders. Jola was a long-time member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.


She married her husband, Bernard Kraus, in 1952. They established a farm outside of Holcomb, Kansas where they reared their four daughters. They moved to Garden City in 1985 upon retiring from farming. Jola and Bernard were avid and accomplished bridge players during their lives together; she continued playing until shortly before her death. Bernard preceded her in death in 1991. Jola was a member of her local chapter of the Extension Homemakers Unit Group for over 60 years. Until a few years ago, Jola was a regular participant in water exercises at the YWCA, and until recently she was active in Newman Club and Prayer Group.


Jola is survived by her four daughters: Michelle Turner (husband, John Smith) of Holcomb, Kansas; Stephanie Merrill (husband, Michael) of Austin, Texas; Mary Traugott of Garden City, Kansas; Jennifer Delgado (husband, Luis) of Austin, Texas. Jola is also survived by her sisters, Bernice Berning of Leoti, Kansas and Shirley Kuriyama of Amarillo,Texas; also surviving is her brother, Gerald Gerstberger of Overland Park, Kansas. Jola is survived by seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


In addition to her husband, Bernard, Jola is preceded in death by her parents, Alphonse A. Gerstberger and Loretta Kreutzer Gerstberger, and by her sister, Lil Akagi.


Public visitation will be held Wednesday, July 15 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Garnand Funeral Home. Rosary will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 16 followed by a Mass of The Resurrection at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Garden City at 10:30 a.m.. Burial at Valley View Cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers please consider memorials to St. Mary's Catholic Church in care of Garnand Funeral Home. Condolences may be given at garnandfuneralhomes.com.