Faces in the Crowd: Ruth Kraft

Ruth Kraft is a pillar in the Piedmont community and is being celebrated at the Piedmont Fall Festival. She will turn 90 this month.

You won’t catch Ruth Kraft sitting for too long. This busy body has been living in the Piedmont community for over 20 years and enjoys living in a small community.

Kraft says, “People are very friendly … like the Senior Center, everybody gets along good, you know, it’s just homey … and that’s what’s good.”

Ruth was born in Macintosh, SD. She went to college in Aberdeen for one year and ended up teaching at numerous country schools for about three years. She got married and had two sons. Her husband did construction work, so the family move around to different job sites for many years. They ended up in McLaughlin SD and bought the drive-in there. Then the whole family saved their money to purchase the local hardware store in McLaughlin. They owned and operated ‘Coast to Coast’ for 43 years. Ruth admits owning a business is hard work, but worth the efforts.

“But it was fun — it isn’t bad at all if you put your mind to it.”

Then when their son needed help running his Hardware Store in Piedmont, the Kraft’s bonded together, and ran Kraft Hardware store for 20 years.

After Ruth’s husband and both of her sons passed away, she took over her son’s trailer court in Piedmont and manages it to this day.

You can also find Ruth in her yard tending to her flowers or volunteering at her church. She says still shovels the snow in her driveway.

She doesn’t stop for long, but when she does it’s to take a friend to an appointment or give to time to help others.

“And I took care of some ladies that can’t drive … go visiting … go down to different places, the Legion and work — it’s something to do.”

And as her birthday nears, many people in the Piedmont community will be celebrating her legacy. The humble person Ruth is, she doesn’t think of her philanthropy as much but many people will beg to differ.

“It just makes me cry, They’re so thoughtful you know because I’m not really doing that much, but they think so.”

Click here for more information on the Piedmont Fall Festival.

Categories: Faces in the Crowd, Local News