Donald Lee Kraupa, a longtime resident of Tenino, Washington, passed away and joined his wife Pearl in heaven on May 8, 2023.
Don was born July 19, 1932, in Enumclaw, Washington. His parents, Frank and Audrey Kraupa, were dairy farmers in Enumclaw before moving to farm in Auburn, Washington. It was on the Auburn farm that Don fell in love with a young girl helping his mother in the kitchen. Don later joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in California. Coming home on leave, he proposed to Pearl and they were married in 1952. For the next 66 years, they remained devoted to one another.
In 1962, Don and Pearl moved to a dairy farm on the Skookumchuck River in Tenino, Washington. He and Pearl raised their four children on the farm and life was full with family activities, summer picnics, farm responsibilities and more. In 1972, the Kraupa family was honored to be named the Washington State Dairy Family of the Year. Don volunteered at the local fire station, was a member of the American Legion, Elks, Eagles, Washington State Holstein Association, Skookumchuck Grange and the South Thurston County Historical Society. He and Pearl donated the antique school bell that was used for the historic Ticknor School in Tenino.
During retirement, Don enjoyed spending time with his family and helping neighbors and friends with projects. He and Pearl also loved to travel and visited places in Europe, Australia, Indonesia and Mexico, to name a few. During his farming days, he and Pearl hosted exchange students from Japan, sharing his knowledge of dairy farming, so later on they included a trip to Japan to visit the families of those they hosted.
Surviving Don are his four children, Judy, Lori, Donna and Donald; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; his brother Jim Kraupa (Sharon) and many nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his wife, Pearl, and his parents.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the First Presbyterian Church of Tenino, 196 W. Central Ave., Tenino, with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Skookumchuck Grange, P.O. Box 1074, Tenino, Washington, 98589 or to the South Thurston County Historical Society, P.O. Box 339, Tenino, Washington, 98589.