It has been over a month since my uncle, Gayle Krause, passed away in El Dorado, Kansas. He was 86 years old. Because of distance, I did not grow up with him in my life very much. I wish I had. He located in El Dorado in 1966 to teach math at Butler County College, eventually becoming the head of the department. The day after he retired in 1991, he filed papers to become a Trustee of the college, a post he served for 12 years. He was also a faithful member of the First Christian Church in El Dorado, serving as an elder, teacher, and chair of the church board.
His wife, my Aunt Kaye, told me often that she and Gayle were proud to use the Standard Lesson Quarterly for their Sunday School class, and always noted when the lesson for the week had been written by me. Here is a note she wrote to me after his passing:
Gayle was always proud of you and your achievements. Pastor Stan said in a comment during his service that he gave so much to our church, and when he was the elder for the Sunday, Gayle would receive compliments from Stan [for his communion meditation]. Gayle would reply, “That was from some of my nephew’s writings. He’s a preacher, you know!” He thoroughly enjoyed when you did the commentary for the SS material. He’d always say to me, “This is Mark’s writing, and I don’t even have to look and see.”
It may seem that Gayle worked in a hidden corner of the world, a small town in Kansas. But he made an impact there. He touched lives of his family members, his church friends, and his classroom students. He was a man of generosity, graciousness, great intelligence (duh, math professor), and integrity. He reminds me of the phrase from Hebrews:
[those] of whom the world was not worthy …
Yet he did not feel that way. He did not look upon his community with disdain, but plunged right in and got his hands dirty every day. He matched his years of frustration with the Trustees of his college with a willingness to serve as a Trustee the day he was eligible.
One of the most interesting sides of Uncle Gayle was his patriotism. His two older brothers were both in the Army during WWII, but he was too young to serve until the very end. He tried to enlist but was rejected for his age. He tried again the next year, and was accepted. He was training to be a Navy pilot for the Pacific theater when the war ended. His hometown newspaper in Belleville, KS did an amazing article at the time to celebrate that all three Krause brothers were serving their country at the same time.
Nebraska Christian College