John Kratovil, 86

John Jack Benedict Kratovil, 86, of Yucaipa, CA, died Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, at his home, from complications of Parkinsons disease.

Jack's father, John, immigrated to Minnesota from Czechoslovakia with his parents when he was nine years old. He met Jack's mother, Mary, in New Prague. Jack was born in New Prague in 1922. As a child he worked in the family construction and lumber business. He graduated from New Prague High School in 1942 and went on to attend St. Thomas College in St. Paul. In his early 20s, Jack moved to Phoenix, AZ, and then to the Inland Empire, CA, working at several lumber and hardware stores. He received his contractor's license in the early 50s and began building houses in San Bernardino and Redlands. He met his wife of 50 years, Betty French, when he was a patient at St. Bernadine's Hospital, where she was a registered nurse. They were married in July of 1951. The family lived in Beaumont, Cherry Valley and Yucaipa, where they continued to build homes and two mobile home parks. Both Jack and Betty earned their real estate licenses in the early 80s, but never actively worked in the profession. Jack was a self-made businessman and was respected by his fellow contractors in the construction business.

He is survived by children Michael Kratovil, Kathleen Bowman (Ronald Lawson) and Patrick (Deborah) Kratovil; one grandchild Kristopher; sister Marianne Peroutka, Faribault; sisters-in-law Agnes Kratochvil, New Prague and Helen Rutter, St. Petersburg, FL; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife; and siblings Richard, Hedy and Vince.

Memorial services were private, with interment at Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands.

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