February 18, 2022
Born June 27, 1956 in Canton, Ohio, Daniel Mark Kratzer was the youngest of Daniel and Jane Kratzer's three children. He was known as Mark or Kratzer to friends and family, or “Boone” by his sisters, Paula and Beth, who have the respective nicknames "Sahn" and "Sweat."
While Kratzer did not love school, Miss Beck, his elementary teacher the year his dad died, was good to him. She became a friend later in life when they were both members at Congress Lake. In middle school, the dress code required Mark to wear a wig or cut his hair. He kept his hair long and was banned from riding the bus, having to walk to school. A friend's dad referred to Mark's group of friends as "Losers, Boozers, and Freaks." The friends, who remained close Mark's whole life, continued to refer to themselves as "LBF" and stuck with him throughout each phase of his life, up to the very end.
Kratzer started working at Quonset Hut in 1970, at the age of 14, when the store was in an actual quonset hut and known as a unisex boutique. He was the kid who kept hanging around until they eventually gave him a broom to sweep the parking lot. From 1976-78, Kratzer worked without pay and in 1978 was made a minority partner as compensation for back pay. In 2005, Mark and his wife Robin took over full ownership. Through Quonset Hut, Kratzer gave generously to the Canton community, sponsoring many activities including regular disc golf tournaments. Kratzer helped fund Veteran's Park, Al Leno Skate Park, and Arboretum Disc Golf Course in Canton; Deis Hill Disc Golf Course in Dover; W.C. Griffith Disc Golf in Canton South; and Portage Lake State Park in Green.
Mark married his wife Robin in 1989. Although both Mark and Robin had attended Glenwood, they only got to know each other as adults. At that time Kratzer had a bachelor's lifestyle-- owning a Corvette, a Porsche, and a motorcycle. All but the Corvette (the first car he ever bought) were soon sold, as his new family took precedence. His daughters (Robin's from her first marriage), Ali and Heidi, were called "Grumpy" and "Melvin" by him as kids. Ali and Heidi always understood that Kratzer's life was better for having them in it and the same was true for them. Mark brought stability to their lives.
Graciela joined the Kratzer family as an exchange student, becoming Mark's Costa Rican daughter. He loved visits with Gra, her husband, Joaquin, and daughter, Isa.
Kratzer was a creature of habit. He held a single job (apart from being a paperboy) throughout his life and went to work close to 365 days a year. Everyone knew what flavor cake or ice cream he'd want (chocolate), what color car he'd choose (black), and his favorite music (The Beatles). He carried in his pocket a talisman-like assortment of coins and rocks. He tracked the time it took to drive various routes to work each day. He checked the weather daily-- not only for Canton but for all the places he had family. Robin brought adventure and the unexpected into his life-- because of her, there were moves and remodels, travel, lots of entertaining, and an altogether broader experience of life. Always, Mark led his life according to a strong sense of right and wrong, and with kindness and generosity.
Towards the end of his life, his grandchildren, Anna, Beata, Lauris, and Lily, were one thing that made him want to stick around. When they were babies, he had feared doing something wrong. It caused him distress when they cried. At its root, his fear was a desire to see them happy and cared for. With time, they overcame all his hesitation with their affection and distinctive personalities.
Heart disease ran in Mark's family. His first heart attack happened at 40. No one foresaw the possibility of a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Mark was diagnosed with bulbar ALS in 2021. He and his family are thankful for the time they've had together, and relieved he will suffer no further losses.
He is survived by sisters, Paula Haverstock and Beth Inboden; wife, Robin; daughters, Alison Reintjes and Heidi Hisrich; son-in-laws, Brandon Reintjes and Matt Hisrich; and grandchildren, Anna and Lily Hisrich and Beata and Lauris Reintjes.
There will be no funeral. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Stark Parks or your local ALS chapter:
February 20, 2024
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3775 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44709
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