Mary Judith Kraus

  • Born: October 1, 1937
  • Died: May 11, 2013
  • Location: Springfield, Illinois

Lincoln Land Cremation Society

917 S. 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62703
Tel. (217) 523-4646

Tribute & Message From The Family

Mary Judith Kraus, 75, of Springfield, died at 6:47 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at St. John's Hospice.

Mary was born October 1, 1937 in Springfield, the daughter of Oscar Carl and Mary Agnes Rhoades Johnson. She married Richard Allen Kraus on March 2, 1957 in Peoria, and he preceded her in death in 2001.

Mary graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1955 and earned a scholarship to the Edna L. McRae School of Ballet in Chicago. She was a professional dancer and toured all over the United States and Canada. She taught dancing at the Jo and Joey Mack Studio and then opened the Kraus Professional School of Dancing in 1966. She taught and judged gymnastics from 1970–2010 at the YMCA, YWCA, and Midstate Gymnastics Academy. Mary was the recipient of the 2010 Illinois Lifetime Achievement Award from the USAG and was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.

She was also preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Robert and Charles Johnson.

She is survived by her son, Richard A. (Kathryn) Kraus of Dawson; two daughters, Carol A. Kraus and Jennifer D. Hylton, both of Springfield; six grandchildren, Andrea Kraus, Nicholas Hylton, Joshua Hylton, Raymond Kraus, Zachary Hylton, and Samantha Hylton; one great-grandchild, Amelia Hylton; and one brother, Thomas Johnson of Rockford, IL.

Cremation was accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society.

The family will host a Memorial Gathering at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Elks Club, 409 East Lake Dr., Springfield.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Mrs. Kraus was a great gymnastics coach and nice person. I have many fond memories!
My sincere sympathy,

Posted by Bridget Walsh Stone - Springfield, IL - Gymnastics Coach & Confirmation   September 22, 2014

I have the fondest memories of my old coach Mary Judith! I felt so close to her that I would sometimes let Mom slip out instead of Mrs. Kraus. She was so warm and funny. I will always remember her as my favorite teacher/coach. I'm so sorry for your loss!

Posted by Linda Miller - Ouray, CO - Gymnastics coach   May 28, 2013

I remember Ms. Kraus from when she taught gymnastics at Franklin Middle School. Rick, Carol, and Jennifer my thoughts are with you.

Posted by Tedd Ward Jr. - Petersburg, IL - Friend   May 18, 2013


I knew Mary Judith from Betty Jo Mack's dancing school. She was an assistant teacher for my dance class when I was a little girl. I also took classes and taught dance for Mary Judith at her school when I was a teenager. She was a wonderful person and I loved her very much. She was my mentor and was instrumental in my dance career and my starting my own dance studio 28 years ago. I am sure she will be missed by her family. She touched many children's lives by teaching them to dance and gymnastics. May god bless her and keep her. With love,
Jan Regan Burghart

Posted by Janet Ann Regan Burghart - Rochester, IL - friend   May 16, 2013

My thought are with you and your family.

Posted by Michaele Talbert - Girard, IL   May 16, 2013

I am so sorry to hear about Mary Judith. I know she will be dearly missed by her friends and family.

Jody Hahn

Posted by Jody Hahn - Springfield, IL - Friend   May 15, 2013

I took gymnastics from Mrs. Kraus at the Y many, many years ago. She was a great coach and a great person. She looked out for her students. I was just thinking about her last week. I was in town and drove by the thought-to-be-haunted house she lived in on 5th St. I have great memories of her. Your family is in my thoughts.

Posted by Jorie Houlihan (Margie Schramm) - Chicago, IL - Former student   May 14, 2013


I remember Ms. Krause as the semi mysterious mother of Jennifer my across 5th Street friend. I say semi mysterious because she always seemed to know exactly what we all were up to despite the fact that none of us ever saw her looking in on what we were doing. I believe to this day there was something wonderfully magical about Ms. Krause, and I will cherish and keep her memory with me always. Please accept the condolences of the Anderson family for your loss. M.

Posted by Marvin Anderson - Springfield, IL   May 14, 2013

My deepest condolences to the Kraus family. My sister and I took dance lessons from Mary Judith. You will be in our thoughts and prayers!

Posted by Diana Miller - Petersburg, IL - Former student   May 14, 2013

Mrs. Kraus was one of my favorite parents of friends of mine. I have fond memories of hanging out and visiting at her home. She was always very friendly and welcoming and seemed genuinely happy to see me.

Posted by Joe Feiden - Petersburg, IL - Friend   May 13, 2013