Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Bob Krautkramer died Sept. 23, 2006. He was 68.
Bob was born in Wisconsin, where he was raised by his parents, George and Doris Krautkramer. He graduated from Lake Geneva High School and earned his baccalaureate degree in English and drama from Wisconsin State College at LaCrosse. He married Catherine Ellen Conway in LaCrosse in 1960.
A teacher by nature and profession, Bob's Colorado career began in Rocky Ford in 1963. After three years he moved with his family to Greeley, where he attained a Master of Arts degree in drama and performed with The Little Theater of the Rockies. Bob taught for two years in Reedley, Calif., before joining the faculty of The Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs in 1970.
At The Lowell Whiteman School, Mr. K taught English, led outdoor and foreign trips and directed plays. In the early '70s, Bob revived the Steamboat Community Theater and directed and acted in numerous productions at the old Town Hall, above the Cameo, and at the Art Depot. With the help of a long, flamboyant moustache, he often acted a convincing melodrama villain.
During his years at The Lowell Whiteman School, Bob often drove the ski bus in the afternoon and was happy just to get in a run or two after classes. If there was an opportunity to ski, Bob took it. After retiring from teaching high school students, he worked as a gondola ticket host, always taking advantage of work breaks and days off to ski. In 1994, he became a ski instructor at Steamboat. Sporting a "perma-grin", he skied almost every day.
Summers found Bob outdoors. He worked as a professional river guide in the 1980s and quickly began boating recreationally at every chance.
His many rafting trips took him from Idaho to Arizona and included a dozen Grand Canyon adventures. Bob was a steward of the Yampa and Green rivers, where he assisted in scientific research and the Weed Warrior programs in Dinosaur National Monument. Bob frequently declared, "There is a river in my soul."
Bob fly-fished his entire adult life. He fastidiously tied his own flies and shared them with his family and friends. He took the challenge of creating and testing new fly patterns, which were often named for his kids. Fishing in high country lakes highlighted Bob's favorite backpacking trips.
Bob's life and activities revolved around his family. Whether float fishing with Cathy or skiing and boating with his children and grandchildren, he smiled genuinely, laughed freely, and will be remembered for his loving nature.
Over the years, Bob earned many endearing nicknames from friends, students and family members: BobDad, B-O-B, GrandBob, Mr. K, Kraut and B.W.B. (Big Water Bob). He never left his grandchildren without wishing them a big, "Howdy in reverse!"
Bob is survived by his wife, Cathy; son, Josh Krautkramer and his wife, Sue; daughter, Gretta Carmichael and her husband, Alan; daughter, Kate Krautkramer and her husband John Anarella; grandchildren, Sarvis, Truman and Carmen Anarella, and Jaspar, Rowyn, and Kalliope Kae Carmichael; his brothers, George and Joe; and his sister, Doris.
Memorial donations in Bob's name may be made to the Weed Warrior Program, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, 4545 U.S. Highway 40, Dinosaur, CO 81610.