Gloria Mabel (Way) Craker, age 91, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children, April 3, 2022 at Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center. Gloria was born August 22, 1930 in the Town of Springdale, outside Mt. Vernon, WI, to George and Mabel (Beard) Way.
She grew up on the family farm with her three older sisters and older brother. In 1948, she graduated from Verona High School as the class Valedictorian. After graduation, she moved to Madison, working as a secretary in the Genetics Department at the University of Wisconsin. While there, she met Phil Craker, who was interning for the summer and would often hang around her desk. Gloria and Phil were united in marriage on December 19, 1953 in Mt. Vernon, WI.
After Phil returned from serving in Korea, Gloria and Phil moved to their farm near Reedsburg. Over the next several years, the ever-growing family moved back and forth between the farm and various military bases around the country – all held together by Gloria’s calm strength. Outside the home, Gloria worked as a care giver, a visitation minister, and later delivered Sunday sermons to home-bound congregants. She was a long-time member of the Winfield Progressive Homemakers, serving as president for many years, as well as volunteering with many other organizations.
To her family, and many others, Gloria was a selfless, steadfast force of encouragement, acceptance, and unconditional love. She made everyone feel comfortable, needed and appreciated. Her quiet demeanor often masked her sassy side and quick wit, traits her expansive family will fondly remember. She loved her family dearly, although they often provided her with equal parts of worry and humor.
Gloria is survived by her six children: Robin (Jean) Craker, Holly (Lynn “Puny”) Mittelstaedt, Nancy Kaney, Jamie (Ken) Catterson, Chris (Tammy) Craker, and Tracy (Julie) Craker; twelve grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; sister Georgia (Way) Post; special family friends: AFS daughter, Bende Gronemann, and Steve Albers; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-seven years, Phil Craker; her parents, George and Mabel; sisters and brothers-in-law Florence (Harry) Rudd and Nona (Art) Hagen; brother and sister-in-law Noel (Audrey) Way; and brother-in-law Art Post.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 14 at 11 AM at Hoof Funeral Home in Reedsburg. Visitation will be held from 9 AM until the time of service. Inurnment will take place at St. Patrick Cemetery in Winfield Township. In lieu of flowers, donations to the charity of your choice are preferred. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center, and Agrace Hospicecare, for the care and compassion given to Gloria and her family.