Jay Lee Krauss, 75, left behind his beloved farm near Gypsum, Kansas, October 6, 2013, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Jay lived where his Grandfather, Gottlieb Krauss, and his Father, August Krauss, had farmed since the turn of the last century.
Jay was born in Salina, Kansas, December 3, 1937; attended Earl Hill Rural School through fourth grade when the Krauss family left the farm for two years to race greyhounds. When they returned, he attended schools in Gypsum and was valedictorian of his 1956 high school graduating class. Jay enrolled at K-State to study engineering but returned to the dairy farm when Jackie Dean, his older brother, had surgery in February and died in August of 1957. “Augie” and Jay then farmed together. Jay cared for his father, “Augie”, and mother, Nannie Gump Krauss, until their deaths in 1998 and 1994.
When he wasn’t delivering calves, fixing machinery, or working his farm ground, Jay read, danced, and visited with his many friends. Jay believed in “making the best better”, the motto he repeated as a member of the Gypsum Valley 4-H Club. With the camaraderie of neighboring farmers who exchanged work over the years and, especially, his hired help, Jay became very successful in agriculture. His family thanks them all.
Jay was an activist with the American Agricultural Movement and participated in tractorcades in Topeka and Washington D.C. He was dubbed “Father of the Gypsum Fire House”, being instrumental in acquiring fire-fighting equipment and learning techniques to help protect the community. As a break from farming, Jay hunted coyotes and coons. “Big Foot” was his handle for C.B. radio. He was among the first of his neighbors to have a cell phone.
Remaining immediate family members are his sisters, Clede Ann and Thyra Sue, and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
At Jay’s request, his eyes were donated to the Kansas Eye Bank and his body to the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Memorials may be sent to the Nannie and August Krauss Scholarship Fund at Southeast of Saline High School, 5056 K-4 East Highway, Gypsum, KS 67448.
Jay will be greatly missed by all who knew him, including friends from “Outlaws” to whom he was “the tall guy in the white hat” who wasn’t afraid to ask the ladies to dance. A gathering of family and friends in his memory will be announced at a later date.
(This obituary was written and paid for by the family of Jay Lee Krauss)