A Family Funeral Home

Henry Bernard Kral

May 21, 1921 - September 6, 2023
Racine, WI



Friday, September 15, 2023
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CDT
St. Paul the Apostle Church
6400 Spring Street
Mount Pleasant, WI 53406


Friday, September 15, 2023
11:00 AM CDT
St. Paul the Apostle Church
6400 Spring Street
Mount Pleasant, WI 53406

Life Story / Obituary


Henry Bernard Kral, lifelong Racine resident and proud World War II veteran, passed away quietly at his home September 6, 2023, amidst loving family members. He was 102.

Henry, born May 21, 1921, was the son of the late Charles and Anna (nee: Hilgers) Kral. Henry graduated from William Horlick High School in 1939. Soon after he was employed at Dumore Corporation where he learned the tool and die trade.

In 1940, Henry met the woman who was to become the love of his life, Betty Habermas, at Beachland Roller Rink, formerly located on North Beach. Betty was an accomplished skater. Henry was not. Captivated by the vivacious brunette, Henry took skating lessons before he approached Betty. His strategy worked. Soon the couple became a familiar sight gliding and waltzing around the roller rink.

The outbreak of WWII interrupted their courtship. In the spring of 1943 Henry was inducted into the U.S. Navy, stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base. He was trained there and at the University of Chicago. He qualified as an aircraft hydraulics instructor.

Despite the war, Henry and Betty were married in Racine on July 15, 1944. He was granted a short 36 hour leave for the ceremony!

Later in 1944, Henry was assigned to an aircraft carrier support group, CASU 64, and transferred to a base near Watsonville, California. Betty soon followed.

In December 1945 he was honorably discharged. The couple returned to Racine. In 1948 Henry and Betty built their first home on Green Bay Road in Mt. Pleasant and began to raise their family.

Henry had a multitude of professional interests: tool and die tradesman, carpenter, real estate sales representative and broker, and was once elected assessor for the Village of Mt. Pleasant. He was active in the local PTA and served on the board of Trautwein Elementary School.

In the 1960s he was hired by American Motors Corporation in Kenosha, WI. There he held a succession of supervisory and engineering positions. He retired from AMC/Chrysler Corporation in 1986.

In retirement Henry and Betty built a second home in St. Germain, WI. The couple and family members spent many enjoyable summers in the Northwoods.

In 2012 Henry, escorted by daughter Barbara, took part in an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. and visited the World War II Memorial.

In 2019, Henry and Betty celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

For over 50 years Henry was an active member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and served on its building committee. He built a full-sized manger still used in the church’s Christmas display. He was also a member of Racine’s Fifth Street Yacht Club and the Kenosha Yacht Club.

Henry was preceded in death by his dearest Betty in 2020. In addition to his parents and spouse, Henry was also preceded in death by sisters Marion (Leroy) Seeger, Kathrine (Nicholas) Willing, and Charlotte (John) Schumann.

He is survived by daughters Barbara (Bruce) Whyte of Columbus, WI; Karen (Joseph) Kral-Schoeneman, Oregon, WI; sons Tom (Joan) Kral and Richard (Victoria) Kral of Racine; grandchildren Jason (Karrie) Kral, Saltillo, MX, Jeremy (Kari) Kral, Tampa, FL, Jessica Kral, Oconomowoc, WI, Justin (Tammi) Kral, Madison, WI, Taylor (Christopher) Collins, Caledonia, WI, Brooke (Kevin) Miner, Columbus, WI; as well as ten delightful great-grandchildren, and many dear friends and neighbors.

Henry will be profoundly missed by so many. Special thanks to the Thompsen family (best neighbors imaginable), and dear friends Ruth Massman-Schoenfeld and Margie Hefner-Welniak.

And a very special shout-out to Ken Meija-Cruz of Racine’s EEA Chapter 838 who made Henry’s 101st birthday a truly extraordinary day. Ken organized a police escort and a plane ride at Batten Field for Henry. He loved talking about that experience. Thank you!

Visitation for friends and family will begin 10 a.m., Friday, September 15, 2023, at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 6400 Spring Street, Mt. Pleasant, WI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. with Father Yamid Blanco officiating. Interment with full military honors at West Lawn Memorial Park will follow at 12:30 p.m.