Emil F. (Jim) Kratt

May 1, 2022

CHARLOTTE – Emil F. “Jim” Kratt, 86, passed away at home after a valiant 20-year struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Sunday morning, May 1, 2022 surrounded by family. A service in celebration of his life will be held on Friday, May 20 at 2:00 PM at the Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.

Jim Kratt was born in Richmond, VA in 1935 to Emil Jacob and Lucy Failing Kratt. Jim’s love of history and home were fueled by a geographically expansive childhood that included attending 13 different schools in almost every southern state where his father built courthouses and office buildings, and was superintendent of the Brunswick, GA shipyard during WWII. In 1945, the family settled on Sardis Road in Charlotte, NC, where he met the love of his life and wife of 63 years, Mary Norton Kratt.

In his professional life, Jim first thought to follow his father and become a civil engineer, but soon learned the law was his calling. When asked what kind of lawyer he was, he would answer with a slight smile and say, “a good one.” It was true. A graduate of Wake Forest University both as an undergraduate and the School of Law, he maintained a busy general civil practice for over fifty years.  For many, he was a trusted counselor and mentor in the truest sense of the word, serving clients and their families decade after decade. Jim was committed to serving and improving the legal profession. That service included: President of the NC State Bar, 12 years on the NC Board of Law Examiners, Life Fellow of the American Bar Association, NC General Statutes Commission, National Conference on Uniform State Laws, and service on boards of the NC Prepaid Legal Services Corp and NC State Bar Client Security Fund.

Jim was a teller of tales who could always be counted on to pass down memories whenever family gathered. He and sister Toni Kratt tracked family roots in Germany, Oregon, Ohio and throughout the Deep South. He had an inquiring mind, a love of learning and history with a particular passion for antique cars and classical music. At 16, his father bought him an A Model Ford to work on and keep him and his friends out of trouble. That interest in old cars lasted a lifetime, although trouble did still find him occasionally.

When asked, “How are you?” He often responded “better than I deserve,” reflecting a wry sense of humor and abiding gratitude. This gratitude led him to support a number of area nonprofits, including service as President of the Charlotte Choral Society, on boards that include Southminster, MedAssist of Mecklenburg, and the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Planning Commission. He was a life member and former chair of the Board of Deacons of the Myers Park Baptist Church.

Jim deeply loved his family, and was extremely proud of them all. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Henry Jacob Kratt. He is survived by wife, Mary, son Bill Kratt (Cathy) of Raleigh, daughters Laura Kratt of Boone, NC and Hunter Kratt (Mark Skinder) of Greenfield, MA, much-loved grandchildren Eli Jacob Kratt of Raleigh, Ethan Kratt of Philadelphia, Cedar and Eli Skinder of Greenfield, MA, brother Ted Kratt (Cynthia), sister Toni Kratt (George Elam) of Charlotte, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte at 7845 Little Ave, Charlotte, NC 28226, and to the Worship and Music Fund of the Myers Park Baptist Church.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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  • Richard Boner

    I am sorry to learn of Jim’s death. He was an excellent attorney and a good guy. It was a pleasure and privilege to be a fellow member of the Mecklenburg County Bar. I extend my prayers and wishes for peace to his wife, Mary, and the other members of the Kraft family.

  • Howard King

    Nancy and I got to know Jim and Mary when I was President of the South Carolina Bar and he was President of the North Carolina State Bar. We enjoyed many trips with them to American Bar Association meetings and other Bar functions, and had the opportunity to visit with them in their home. He was an outstanding individual, a great lawyer, a wonderful family man, and a true friend. One of the really good thing about being involved in organized Bar activities was getting to know wonderful people like Jim. Our deepest sympathy to Mary and his family.
    Howard King
    Sumter, South Carolina

  • Charles M Davis

    Jim was a wonderful law school classmate and I enjoyed serving with him on the NC State Bar Counsil. I am sure he will be missed by Mary and their children and they will be in my prayers.

  • William Hamel

    Our condolences and prayers to all the Kratts. our neighbors for so many years, Ted and Cynthia, and all the family of all the Kratts. What a fine person and lawyers lawyer Emil was. Bill and Linda.

  • Jim(Jimmy) Hood

    At Jim and Mary's wedding I was honored as a 14 year old kid that Jim needed my tie for photos of them going away after the wedding. Jim was also a great lawyer for me, my brother Ralph and sister Martha when I was executor of my mother's will. Jim was our lawyer and also a great partner. Jim will be greatly missed, but he is still appreciated.

  • Gerry Skinder

    Wonderful eulogy for a deeply impressive, yet humble man. So glad my father and I had the chance to visit the Kratts in North Carolina.. Despite all of the oxygen tubing , his voice filled the living room and he and Mary were exceptionally gracious hosts.

  • Steve Shoemaker

    Jim was one of the finest men I have ever known . He was of great help and support to me as Senior Minister if Myers Park Baptist Church . He was what the Jewish tradition called a tzaddik , a just man , a man of fairness , justice and mercy . I salute him and his life .