Obituaries » Michiko MaryAnn Kraft

Michiko MaryAnn Kraft

August 21, 1960 - April 7, 2023

On April 7, 2023, Michiko MaryAnn Kraft—our beautiful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—passed away at the age of 62, after a battle with gallbladder cancer. What made MaryAnn happy was bringing other people together and making them happy.  She was the light and center of our family. Whatever we did, MaryAnn always wanted to make sure everyone was involved and having a good time. MaryAnn had a special gift for making people feel accepted and at ease. Her sons’ friends think of her as a second mom. She was always able to coax the life story out of every Uber driver she encountered. MaryAnn lived to be a mom and grandmother. She loved cooking pancakes and French toast for her sons and grandchildren. She enjoyed watching cheesy Hallmark movies with her son Derek and laughing when he would try to spoil the movies by predicting the endings. She loved it when her son Ryan tried to derail all her planning for the grandkids’ adventures, as she ignored him.  Hanging out with her grandkids by the pool was one of her favorite things. She was always thinking about her kids and made the best Christmas stockings and Easter baskets.  MaryAnn fought cancer with exceptional courage, positivity, and resilience. During her sister Nancy’s eight-year bout with cancer, MaryAnn was constantly at her side. And during her own illness, MaryAnn never let cancer rob her life of joy. Even as the complications mounted, she cooked dinners and went bowling with her family, and took her grandkids to the circus. Even after receiving discouraging news during trips to see her oncologists in Houston, she had the strength to set it aside and enjoy some truly wonderful nights out with her son. MaryAnn is survived by her mother, Asae “Mariko” Smith; brother, Troy Smith; husband, Ken Kraft; sons, Derek and Ryan Kraft; daughter-in-law, Chelsea Kraft; grandchildren, Levi, Callan, Cailley, and Eleanor Kraft; her most beloved puppy Yuka; and by numerous other family members and dear friends whom she loved very much. There are no words to express how much we love her.  We will miss her so, so very much. Please join us at 1p.m. on Saturday, April 15, 2023, to remember MaryAnn and celebrate her life, at Tharp Funeral Home, 220 Breezewood Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502.  Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. before the service.   After Nancy’s cancer journey, MaryAnn and Ken became deeply involved in raising funds for cancer research with the American Cancer Society. Please consider donating to the American Cancer Society in MaryAnn’s memory.

Click here to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, in memory of Michiko MaryAnn Kraft.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped us through this difficult time.



Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Michiko MaryAnn's life with a short message, photo or video!

I have known MaryAnn for 50+ years, she was an integral part of my childhood and continued to be a cherished friend. MaryAnn was one of the most selfless people I know, always putting others first. Her generosity knew no bounds. She was a beautiful soul. Heaven truly has acquired a special angel. I love her dearly and will miss her greatly.

Posted by Linda Jenkins on April 14, 2023

I am so saddened by the passing of MaryAnn. We worked together at Bel Air and became friends. You could never have a bad day with MaryAnn around, she would some how make you laugh and smile. She is a very special and awesome women that will be dearly missed. My heart goes out to Ken and her boys, grandbabies and the rest of the family.

Posted by Roseann Chestnut on April 14, 2023

I was shocked and saddened when I heard about Mary Ann. I knew Mary Ann through my years of teaching at Bel Air. She always had a smile on her face. She was beautiful not only on the outside, but also on the inside. My thoughts and prayers are with Ken, Derrick, Ryan and the family. May you have the strength to get through this difficult time. Even though she is not here with you, she is watching over you from Heaven.

Posted by Debbie Halsey on April 14, 2023

Maryann always strong and cared a smile on her face for all! I will always have a special place in my heart for the memories of Maryann. I’m so very grateful that I had the opportunity to know and love Michiko MaryAnn Kraft. What a great person and what an amazing family, I am honored and blessed. Ken, I know Maryann was the love of your life and our heart breaks for you. Prayers and love sent from our family to yours. Always your true friends, Paul & Rita Billings

Posted by Paul & Rita Billings on April 13, 2023

Surprise Party for Paul - Maryann and Ken graciously attended and made the day so AWESOME!

Posted by Paul & Rita Billings on April 13, 2023

My heart is saddened to hear the news of my dear friend Mare's passing. I have known Mare and her family since 1992 when my family first moved to Virginia. We became the best of friends through PTA meetings, school events with our children, and just hanging out with each other. As the years passed on, our families have grown and moved away, and every time we met it was like we picked up right where we left off. She will be missed immensely by me and my family. We lost a dear friend but God has gained a beautiful angel. My condolences to the entire Kraft family. May the good Lord comfort your family today, tomorrow, and always.

Posted by Holly Marsh on April 12, 2023

My heart is so saddened to hear of the passing of Maryann. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to Ken, Ryan, Derrick, and the entire family. God has accepted an angel much too soon! My friendship with Maryann goes back to our BelAir days. First as a room mom when Ryan was in our Kindergarten class then as a colleague when she became a Kindergarten assistant, and our friendship continued through the years. She had the best smile, and willingness to help anyone at anytime. Miss you, my friend. May God hold her in the palm of His hand forever!

Posted by Chris Richmond on April 12, 2023

Ken and family,I’m so sorry to here of Michiko’s passing, condolences to you,your family,and friends. Although,I didn’t personally know her,I know from what I’ve read,she was a beautiful,loving wife Mother,and Friend to so many. May she forever rest peacefully….😞💔❤️

Posted by Timothy J Muller on April 12, 2023

I had the pleasure to work with MaryAnn for many years in the GSA OIG. MaryAnn was a light. She was support and a caring, listening ear whenever anyone needed it. Though it’s been a few years since I saw her, I can name her entire family. That is because she was always telling a story about her sons, her grandkids, her husband, her mother, or her siblings. MaryAnn LOVED her family. My deepest condolences on this loss. The world needs more MaryAnns.

Posted by Marisa Roinestad on April 12, 2023

My condolences to the family. I’ve known MaryAnn and her family since we were kids at Ft Myer. Her brother Troy and I were great friends and she and my sister Linda were buddies. She had a big heart and will be missed.

Posted by Darius Jenkins on April 11, 2023

I served in the Marines with MaryAnn’s son. We were deployed to Ramadi Iraq in 2006 when I was injured and sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC. Because Ken and MaryAnn lived in northern VA they came to visit me often and welcomed me and my parents into their home for the holidays so we wouldn’t have to spend it in the hospital. She was a very special woman and I was honored to not only have served with her son but to have known her as well.

Posted by Mark Smith on April 11, 2023

Mary Ann and I became friends on Okinawa. This picture was taken there. My Dad and her Dad worked together and before she left the island we did everything together. She was an amazing friend and I was so sad to hear this news. Sending condolences to her family. She was truly an amazing lady.

Posted by Susan Sanders on April 11, 2023

I am so saddened to hear this MaryAnn was the sweetest woman who kept all us young ladies sane during the Fallujah deployment. Ken I know how much she was the love of your life and my heart breaks for you. Prayers and love sent from my family to yours.

Posted by Bonnie Barrington on April 11, 2023

Life will not be the same without you to share adventures and daily life with!

Posted by Cindy Chamberland on April 11, 2023

I’m saddened to hear this. Sending hugs and much love to this family. Mary Ann and Ken came to visit my husband in the hospital and many marines that were injured. They had us over at their house and just loved on us like we were family. She had such a sweet spirit about her and I will never forget her kindness. Thinking of this family and sending prayers from Georgia.

Posted by Tabitha Smith on April 11, 2023

"I know you\'re in a place where all your wounds have been erased and knowing yours are healed is healing mine\". (Casting Crowns) My heart is broken and I will miss you so much!! I love you always, rest in peace my sweet friend!

Posted by Michelle Hankins on April 11, 2023

Posted by Michelle Hankins on April 11, 2023

Your “girls” will never be the same! We love you with all of our hearts!

Posted by Susie on April 11, 2023

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