In Memoriam

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Elizabeth Orr Kratz ’23

Elizabeth Orr Kratz ’23, July 17, 1994, in Corvallis, Oregon. After attending Reed, Elizabeth transferred to Monmouth State Teachers College, graduating in 1923. In 1927, she married David Kratz, a pastor in the Christian Church. Together, they served parishes in Iowa and California until 1959, when he became the regional minister for the state of Nebraska and they moved to Lincoln. During this time, in addition to raising a family and working with her husband on parish activities, she held positions as an art supervisor, an adult education teacher, and director of a Christian education program. After her husband's death in 1960, she became the executive secretary of the Christian Women's Fellowship of Northern California/Nevada. In 1962, she was appointed associate regional minister of the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada and was ordained by that church in 1963. She continued there for 13 years, serving as president, regional minister, and director of the Northern Council of Churches. She also served as chairperson of the California Migrant Ministry and worked closely with César Chávez in his efforts to improve working conditions for farm workers. In 1972, she was a representative to the Protestant Church Executives consultation to the Paris Peace Talks. She retired in 1975 and moved to Connecticut, where she continued her volunteer activities. In 1989, she “re-retired” and moved to Corvallis, Oregon, with her sister. She received the Disciples Fellowship Peace Award from the United Church of Christ General Assembly in Indianapolis for her years of activity on behalf of peace and justice causes. In 1993, she was awarded the Foster-Scholz Club Distinguished Service Award. Survivors include three sons; a daughter; two sisters, a brother; eleven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 1994

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