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.