KRANABETTER, Thomas “Tom”
Tom Kranabetter was born in Lister, BC on Feb. 9, 1933. His parents, Julius Kranabetter and Mary Wiesz were immigrants from Austria and Yugoslavia, respectively. Tom was the firstborn of 11 (Rose, Joe, Frank, Elizabeth, Robert, Richard, Denis, Rita, Judy, and Berdie) and together, they were a hard-working, farming, family. Tom attended school near the farm as a young child, then Lister School, and finally the high school in Creston. In his teens, he accepted a job in Alberta and worked with horses for a few months. Later he joined the Air Force and was stationed in eastern Canada for three years.
Upon returning to the Creston Valley, he met and married Gertrude Nygaard. Together they raised 9 children: Kathy (Jim Korman), Julie (Jim Elliot), Kirby (Danielle), Muriel, Stephen (Caroline Ziegler), Marty (Michele Jones), Darcy, Ruth (Donavan Hare), Karen (Chris Fabbi). The family eventually grew by an additional 19 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
Gertrude and Tom started their married life by working at Hushcroft’s camp while Tom logged and Gertrude was the camp cook. They stayed until a bear decided to invade the pantry. Tom also worked for Sears and sold tires for a while. His biggest success was working for the Fuller Brush company. Tom was a convincing salesman who took good care of his regular customers. He was quickly promoted to manager, and then he earned a string of promotions and consequent re-locations, as Tom rose through the ranks of the company. Eventually, in the early ‘70s, Tom was the Western Sales manager, and he was responsible for everyone from Manitoba to BC.
Over time they moved from Creston to Salmo to Trail to Nelson to Kelowna to Penticton to Kinard to Creston to Penticton to Barrie (Ont.) to Langley to Leduc (Alberta – 2 homes) to Fernie to Winfield (2 homes) to Saskatoon (2 homes) and to Winfield.
Tom changed careers with the move to Fernie, where he managed the Tak’s Home Furnishings store. In Winfield, he earned his Real Estate license and sold real estate for a short time. In Saskatoon, he eventually got into an aerial photography service and was part owner of West Country Photo. At 69 years of age, he decided to stop selling pictures and retire. He continued to be a man of ideas, and a salesman at heart, until the very end.
Tom was an avid athlete and participated in a variety of sports wherever he lived. Baseball, hockey, and golf were his top three favourites. He played on the Old Timers ball team, the Huff & Puff hockey team, and at Mountain Shadows golf course to name a few. Tom coached his sons in hockey, soccer, ball, and golf. If he wasn’t playing or coaching, he was watching any and all sports on TV. Throughout his life, he could retell the story of a home run, goal, or excellent putt.
Tom also loved dogs. He owned many during his lifetime and he seemed to have a special connection with them. Again, Tom could tell many stories about Sam, Brownie, Andy, Gomer, Shehasta, plus his children’s numerous pets.
Tom had a gift for playing with children. He could always make a toddler smile and they loved to grab his nose as they bounced on his knee while he sang the German song from his childhood, “Hopa Hopa Rider”. He enjoyed people and was always ready to hear a good story, or especially to tell one.
He was reluctant to leave this earth as he didn’t want to miss the party planned in August. He loved a family get together more than anything.
He will be missed by his many friends and family.
Rest in peace.
If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.
You have been so very “present” for your dad, not only over the years, but in particular over these last three months. Your commitment, dedication and caring disposition has been like no other. Sending love and sincere condolences to you and your family during this time of loss. May you cherish the fond memories.
Our condolences to all the family we enjoyed all the years we knew him at the church. May he rest in peace.
Kirby and the Krannabetter family. Please accept my deepest condolences on the death of your dear father.. I am sure he will be missed and that you have very fond memories of him. May his soul Rest In Peace.
We are so deeply saddened by the news of Tom’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May our condolences bring you comfort and our prayers ease the pain of this loss. May he Rest In Peace. xo Cherisse, Dean, Saskia & Sadie
Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your Dad, Tom.
Twenty five years ago I met Tom when he visit us in Trinidad to attend the wedding of Danielle and Kirby.. Although our cultures were very different, Tom endeared himself to everyone he met, and happily participated in everything. I remember him dancing and really enjoying himself at the wedding. It always amazed me whenever I spoke with him on the telephone, he remembered by name all those he met, and asked for everyone.
May the loving memories you have of him help you all through this time.
May his memory be a Blessing
Rest in Peace Tom.
Tessa Gopaul, Trinidad and Tobago
Julie ,Jim and the Kranabetter Family
Our condolences to you all. We have spent the last few days reflecting on our many good times with Tom, Ball ,Hockey
.golf and the very many stories he had to tell. Stories I’m sure he is repeating now to those who had not had the pleasure of hearing them
thinking of you all in this time of your grief
Mal Marg and Family
I am very sorry for your loss and wish your family strength during this difficult time.
Tracy Gray, Member of Parliament, Kelowna – Lake Country
We were so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing.
Hi to Toms Family from a good Friend . Tom hired me in 1992 as a salesman with West Country Photo plus he trained me very well to go on and achieve Top Sales for all the years Tom was there. I am so sorry to hear of Tom passing as I was thinking of him and googled his name and read his obituary. I had phoned him and had a nice conversation in 2019. Tom was a very True friend and him and I done a lot together. He attended our Sons wedding in Spiritwood Sk and of course we played some VLT’s in the 90’s . We never missed Mass when we were on the road selling photos. I send you all our Deepest Condolences and the memory of Tom will be with me till we meet again. I am so honoured to have known Tom and to have read all about him and the wonderful pictures. Love in Christ. RIP Buddy. Boris Sidoruk