Earle A. Kraft, 80, founded electronics firm

April 17, 2004

Earle A. Kraft, founder of Kraft Electronic Sales and a World War II submariner, died of respiratory failure Monday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 80.

Born and raised in Cockeysville, he was a 1940 graduate of Towson High School. He worked in the engineering department of Bendix Radio in Towson until enlisting in the Navy in 1944.

Mr. Kraft was a graduate of the Navy's radio, radar and sonar school, and the submarine school at New London, Conn. He was assigned to a submarine base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and served in the Pacific during the latter part of World War II.

The lifelong Cockeysville resident worked in electronic sales before establishing his company in 1964. It represented a division of Hughes Aircraft Co. for more than 20 years. He sold the business and retired in 1986.

Mr. Kraft was a member of the Delmarva chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II. He was appointed the organization's memorial chairman and was responsible for directing placement of the organization's submarine memorial on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mr. Kraft is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Luella D. Schmidt; five daughters, Joy L. Gonzalez of Cockeysville, Sharon D. Fogarty of Lineboro, Martha A. Chapman of White Hall in Baltimore County, Linda J. Kough of Gapland and Sarah E. Baker of Bedford, Pa.; and 16 grandchildren.

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