We Remember


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”.

Share with Others:

Share on Facebook
Share Via Email