Jeff Kragskow, 1948-2017 R.I.P.

When I went to college in 1966 I lived in Beyer House in Friley Hall. My roommate, Stan McAninch was from Indianola and quite a number of the guys in our house were from there too including Parker Swan. They had a friend, Jeff Kragskow, who became a good friend too.

1967 – Defiant Dormies: Jeff Kragskow, Steve Hennessey, Paul Anderson, and John Hawn

In the spring of 1967 one of the guys moved off campus to the brownstones just west of campus. Duane Nielson’s apartment became a hangout for many of us.

1967 – Duane Nielson, Parker Swan, Duane’s little brother, and Stan McAninch

Over the summer of 1967 I got injured playing soccer and could not get back to school in the fall. Jeff had moved off campus to an apartment above Wally’s Pipe Shop with John Teufel as his roommate.  John left school at the end of fall quarter leaving Jeff with no roommate. I made it back winter quarter and moved in with him.

1967 – Jammin’ in the can

I had  an old Kay mandolin and Jeff and I would play together. The best acoustics were in the bathroom, a converted closet. Jeff was a far more accomplished musician than I was.

By the spring of 1968 I too had dropped out of school. I got married the next year and my wife Karen and I remained friends with Jeff and  saw him from time to time. We had a friendship that spanned over 50 years.  Here are some pictures of times we shared over the years.

He and his brother David visited us in 1971.

1971 – Jeff and David Kragskow

In 1972 we attended his wedding.

1972 – Jeff and Kathy’s wedding. Jeff’s mom on the right

1972 – Jeff’s dad

In 1973 Karen and I drove over to Story City and we all paid a visit to the Kate Shelley High Bridge.

1973 – Kate Shelley High Bridge

Over the next several decades we visited back and forth.

1978 – Jeff, John Hawn, Robert Thorpe

2004 – The same cast of characters


2006 – and once again

2010 – At a Beatles tribute band in Ames


From time to time Jeff’s old college roommate, John Teufel, would stop by at our place. Sadly, their visits never coincided.

John Teufel and family

In 2010 I had a couple of sculptures being displayed in Ames. Jeff’s sister-in-law Heather and his nephew, Jon, were in town so it was another great chance for us to get together.

We saw Jeff many more times over the years.

A few weeks ago Jeff and I made plans for us to come over for a visit. With only 15 minutes before we were to leave, Jeff called and said he felt under the weather and would like to have a rain check for a couple of weeks. He died before we could reschedule.

2005 – Jeff and Jake

RIP old friend.

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4 Responses to Jeff Kragskow, 1948-2017 R.I.P.

  1. Wendy says:

    I’m so sorry, Dad.

  2. Jen&Tom says:

    Tough to wrap your brain around losing a special person. This was a really nice
    tribute you put together honoring your friendship Butch.

  3. Chris Nelson says:

    I got to know Jeff from 3M. We worked together and after we retired would occasionally meet up with others for a “crew meeting”! I am really going to miss seeing him around. Thanks for showing some of Jeff”s memories and sounds like he had a great friend in you.

  4. Doug Miller says:

    A fine tribute to a good friend. These special people are really important to us as we get older, and each loss hurts. The memories help, and you have been a devoted friend and honored his presence and his passing.

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