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Monday, May 2, 2016

Gray Matters:Bob Kranig--Remarkable employee and friend

Monday, March 23, 2009

When Bob Kranig, a long-time employee, who was almost like family, recently passed away I wanted to write something about him, but scarcely knew how to begin.

Fortunately, I was given a copy of a eulogy written by his son Cameron. I have told you of this multi-talented young man in the past and once again he has proven himself. With his permission, here are portions of his piece:

"Robert Lee Kranig was born in a tarpaper shack close to the Missouri River near Wagner, South Dakota December 28, 1941. Despite his ability to learn and his above average intelligence, he ended his formal education after one semester in the 9th grade when he and a cousin decided to see the world, using the US Army as their vehicle.

"After basic training and learning to be a supply clerk in the states he set sail for Darmstadt Germany where he resided for the next two years. In 1963 Bob had his fill of the army, it had its fill of Bob and shipped him home. He spent New Year's Eve watching the ball drop in Times Square before returning to South Dakota.

"Shortly, he found the love of his life and after a brief courtship Anita Louise Tinker became his better half at Marty Mission.

After the birth of their first two sons, work became scarce, and times tight, causing Bob to look for a new line of work. This led to Iowa where he worked in the Primghar area for a short while. Their only daughter was born there. Shortly thereafter, he accepted an offer from Melvin Dorr initiating a relationship that eventually passed to Melvin's son, Tom, which lasted for forty years. Here, their last two sons were born.

"It was under Melvin that Bob was able to really excel. If you needed a carpenter, he was a carpenter; an engineer, he was an engineer; a heavy equipment operator, he was a heavy equipment operator--construction worker, welder, mechanic, fabricator, inventor, he became what was needed.

More than jack-of-all trades, he mastered them all.

"Bob was featured on the front page of the New York Times when he designed a 16-row corn planter and a 23-narrow row bean planter.

When Tom Dorr was selected as Under Secretary of Agriculture, Bob was told he would be out of a job, a shocking prospect at age sixty. His worries were allayed the next day when he was deluged with offers from every employer in the area. He chose to work for the Seablom brothers, who were to custom-farm the ground he had planted for thirty years. In the end, he planted forty crops and took out thirty-nine. Early in 2008 he was diagnosed with cancer and finished his battle with the disease on February

19, 2009."

I see I must ask you to let me finish this account in my next Gray Matter. Thank you for your indulgence.