NORMAN — Howard Kratzer Jr. was born Jan. 22, 1921, the first of three children to Howard Sr. and Ruth Wilkinson Kratzer, at their family home near downtown Oklahoma City. Howard departed this life Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.
Graveside services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery in Oklahoma City.
He attended Shields Heights Elementary School and graduated a year early from Capitol Hill High School in 1938. After graduation, he became a baker’s apprentice at Colonial Baking Company, where he met his lifetime best friend, Boyce Myers. In 1938, they decided to take dance lessons at Kotches School of Dance in Oklahoma City, where they fell in love with their dance instructors and future wives. On Oct. 5, 1941, he married one of those instructors and the love of his life, Florence Louise Frank. Two months later and shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Howard enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Noumea, New Caledonia, for three years as a member of the 208th Military Police Company.
After the war, he returned to Colonial Baking in Oklahoma City, where he began a long career in several different aspects of the food business. In 1948, he opened Plaza Donut Shop on N.W.16th Street in Oklahoma City. Two years later, he accepted a position with Junge Biscuit Co. that soon led to employment at Keebler Biscuit Co., Nestle Chocolate Co. and Libby McNeill & Libby for 17 years and W.J. Jones Food Broker. In 1971, Howard opened Village Doughnut Shop on Britton Road in Oklahoma City. Many a Village policeman and fireman would drop by for a free cup of coffee and donut. Because of his ability to make friends and shepherd, it was truly his dream job. Due to health reasons he had to close the doughnut shop the next year and return to work as a sales representative for W.W. Wendt Food Broker until his retirement in 1986.