Clara Ruth Kratz, champion duckpin bowler, dies

She was secretary to The Baltimore Sun controller

  • Clara Ruth Kratz
Clara Ruth Kratz (1966 photo )
February 21, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Clara Ruth Kratz, former secretary to the controller of The Baltimore Sun who was also a champion duckpin bowler, died Feb. 14 of renal and heart failure at Carroll Hospital Center. She was 88.

Miss Kratz, who went by Ruth, was the daughter of a steamfitter and a homemaker. She was born in Baltimore and raised on Catherine Street in West Baltimore.

After graduating from Western High School in 1940, she went to work as a clerk-secretary at J.B. Norris, a 29th Street auto dealership.

Miss Kratz started her 45-year Sunpapers' career in 1942 at the newspaper's former home at Baltimore and Charles streets, in the accounting department.

At the time of her retirement in 1987, she was secretary to Jesse Crowder, the newspaper's senior vice president and treasurer.

After retiring, she was a founder and first president of The Sunpapers Association of Retirees.

For years, Miss Kratz was a duckpin bowler. Her first tournament appearance was with the annual Evening Sun bowling contest in 1948.

She lost the 1952-1953 Evening Sun women's championship by one pin in the final frame of the 30th game to the legendary Elizabeth "Toots" Barger.

The former Woodlawn resident, who had lived in Westminster for the past nine years, was an avid opera fan and regularly attended performances of the old Baltimore Opera Company with her Sun colleague and friend of 59 years, Kitty Kasemeyer, who was the newspaper's purchasing agent.

"We loved to talk tenors, sopranos and prima donnas," said retired Evening Sun editor and Sun reporter Ernest F. Imhoff.

Miss Kratz was a longtime active member of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church on St. Paul Street.

"Her greatest hobbies were The Sun and her church, and she gave a lot to both," said her sister, Dorothea C. Kruse of Westminster.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. March 6 at Krug Chapel at Carroll Lutheran Village, 300 St. Luke Circle, Westminster. Another service will be held at 11 a.m. March 26 at St. Mark's, 1900 St. Paul St.

Other survivors include a nephew and a niece.

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