A Memorial Mass with military honors was held Thursday, January 2, 2020, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Crosby for Otis P. Kroke, age 69, who passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital in Crosby on December 27, 2019.
Otis was born in McVille to parents Thorney and Theresa Kroke on September 25, 1950. He attended and graduated from Michigan High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He achieved the rank of sergeant for his service in Vietnam and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and Two Bronze Stars. He married Kathy Vikan on March 10, 1973, and made their first home in Lawton where he worked at the Cenex Station. They next moved to Hazen where he worked at the coal gasification plant. They then moved to Langdon where he worked at the Cavalier Air Force Station in maintenance. He ended his career working for GSA in Portal and Ambrose and residing in Crosby. He dedicated the last seven years of his retirement to caring for his wife. He was an avid outdoorsman with a life-long love of hunting, fishing, boating and camping. He patiently instilled this sportsmanship in his children and grandchildren. He was a skilled woodworker and made countless heirlooms for those he cared about. He had the driest sense of humor and loved sarcasm and a good joke. He got much joy from pulling pranks, with family and coworkers often the unsuspecting targets. He was a hard worker and took much pride in a job well done, whether it be his job or home project. He closely followed politics his entire life and loved a heated debate.
He leaves behind his wife, Kathy; children Steph (Kevin) Welsh and Heather (Garrett) Gilbertson; seven grandchildren: Grant, Jordan, Ally, Tucker, Megan, Cole, and Emma; five brothers and five sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thorney and Theresa Kroke; brother Forrest Kroke; sister Jeannie Vasichek; and son-in-law Clint Hay.
Stakston-Martin Funeral Home of Crosby was in charge of arrangements.