Judge Emil L. Kraus
Class of 1934
Career Pathway: Business, Management, Marketing & Technology
Emil Kraus was president of his senior class at GHS. He attended the University of Detroit, where he earned a bachelor of philosophy in 1938 and was also president of his U-D senior class. He attended the University of Michigan Law School, where he earned a bachelor of literature and law in 1941.
Mr. Kraus then attended the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1942. He served as an executive officer and obtained the rank of lieutenant senior grade on the Coast Guard cutter Marion, a ship charged with patrolling the Atlantic Ocean for enemy ships and submarines during World War II.
Elected judge of probate for Crawford County, Mr. Kraus then served in that capacity for 24 years. He also had a private law practice in downtown Grayling for over 41 years.
Although he studied law, retail trade also became a vocation for Mr. Kraus. He built and owned the Ben Franklin Store, Northland Department Store and the Kraus Dry Goods Store in downtown Grayling. Later he built the Ben Franklin Family Center and Laurine’s Department Store in the Grayling Mall, both of which stayed open for over 25 years.
Judge Kraus was on the board of directors of Grayling State Bank (now Citizens Bank) for over 15 years. He received the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” award in 2004.
Mr. Kraus and his wife Amelia married in 1945 and had two daughters, Mary and Amy. After Amelia's death in 1967, he married Laurine, whom he had known while working in Detroit, in 1968. They have two daughters, Catherine and Margaret. He has enjoyed playing golf at the Grayling Golf Course since his high school days, and a highlight in his later years was making a hole in one.