William Kraves - Tribute Video
William S. “Bill” Kraves of West Hills, CA passed away at the age of 89 years old on June 26, 2022 in Woodland Hills, CA.
Bill was born on February 28, 1933 in Braddock, PA to Stephen and Mary Kravec. He was raised in Pittsburgh along with his brothers Bob and Ray, and enjoyed the company of a large extended family. When he was 19, he joined the Air Force with hopes of becoming a pilot, but was unable due to an eardrum injury. He instead was employed as a radio operator/truck driver and was stationed near Munich, Germany, where he met the love of his life, Maria Fickler. They were married in Ottobeuren, Germany near Maria’s hometown of Markt Rettenbach. After Bill’s active duty ended, they moved back to Pittsburgh and had three sons, Steve, Karl, and Paul. Seeking better opportunities, Bill and his family moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1963. Their daughter Kris was born soon after relocating to the sunshine state.
During their first year in California, tragedy struck when Paul was hit by a car and suffered a major brain injury. Paul survived but lost most of the use of his right side, developed a severe form of epilepsy, and remained mentally challenged for the rest of his life. Bill and Maria were up to the challenges of raising Paul, and they devoted their lives to loving and caring for him and their other children.
Good with his brain and hands, Bill became the wallcovering installer for the stars in Los Angeles. A true artist and an ace at his craft, he worked with top interior decorators in celebrity homes and wealthy residences, and was the go-to guy for the most beautiful and challenging jobs. Although Karl ultimately went in a different direction, Bill was proud to have taught Karl the paperhanging trade and they enjoyed working together for years. Bill was an honest, hardworking man and a good father who provided well for his family.
Most time off was spent with the family on day trips to the mountains and beach, rock hounding, fishing, and camping. On their vacations, Bill, Maria and the children explored much of the natural wonder that California had to offer, which instilled a love of the outdoors in his children that continues to this day.
Bill never lost his zest for learning, living, and doing, whether building his own home computer systems from scratch, planting something new in his garden, refinishing a piece of furniture, faux-finishing a wall or trying a new recipe in his Instapot. Bill was an avid book reader and a skilled writer. He loved his family and wanted nothing more than to spend time with them. His children lived near to Bill and Maria all of their lives which made them very happy. Bill was deeply loved and will be missed by many.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Maria on 9/1/2021 and his son Paul on 5/18/2020. He is survived by his son Steve and his wife Renee, his son Karl, his daughter Kristina and her husband Steve, granddaughters Stephanie and Katja, many nieces and nephews, his lifelong buddy Stan and a number of other friends.
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