William James Kratz (Jim), 71

William James Kratz (Jim) of Kent, Washington passed away on August 31, 2023 at the age of 71 after a courageous battle with lymphoma.
Jim was born in San Antonio, Texas to William Kratz and Rosemary (nee Keefe). As Jim's father was an airline pilot, the family lived in many states in the US, but when Jim was about 13 years old he settled in his parents hometown of Hampton, Iowa and lived with his Grandmother Keefe. There, Jim established many life-long relationships. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1969 and attended the University of Northern Iowa, graduating with a degree in Finance in 1977. Jim furthered his education andwas awarded a Master of Public Administration in 1995.
Jim has worked since the age of 13, but in 1980 joined the US Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Division, where he again established many lasting friendships. Jim has worked in Urbana, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Carson City, Nevada; and ended his career in Seattle, Washington. In 2011, Jim retired as the Regional Management Officer in the Northwest Region of the USGS.
Since retiring, Jim spent his time taking care of his wife, Barb, being a father, grandfather and uncle to those he loved. He loved to travel and was able to enjoy the beauty of our world wherever he went. Jim was an avid reader and enjoyed writing. Friends would occasionally quote some of his prose and puns, including"... and that's how I got these pants" A quote from a short story he wrote, "Liza is Frozen on the Back Porch": as Jim was burying his grandmother's dog in a blizzard in Iowa he said, "If you can't be good, be careful. If you can't be careful, be sanitary"
He was active throughout his life, which included jogging, playing sports, bicycling, and skiing. Jim had a wonderful sense of humor and wit, and is always remembered by his infectious laugh. He was a good man and lived a good life. He made decisions that echoed his strong moral compass.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Linda (Ron) Zeanchock. Jim is survived by his wife, Barbara Bengston; his daughter, Audyne Mary Jo (Andy) Ballou; granddaughters Skylar, Nicole and Drew; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
No immediate services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim's name to the Swedish Cancer Institute (https://give.swedishfoundation.org/jim-kratz) or Shriners Hospital for Children (donate.lovetotherescue.org)


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