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John R. Kraft Jr., 68

The Baltimore Sun

John Rowland Kraft Jr., a retired WBAL-TV supervisor who enjoyed gunsmithing and keymaking, died Sunday of lung cancer at his Sparks home. He was 68.

Mr. Kraft was born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton. He was a 1958 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and attended the old Baltimore Junior College.

He also served in the Coast Guard on active duty for six months and remained in the Coast Guard Reserve for eight years. In 1960, he went to work in the engineering department at WBAL radio and transferred in the late 1970s to its television station. He was an engineering supervisor at his 2000 retirement.

The former Lutherville resident, who moved to Sparks in 1997, was a ham radio operator with the call letters of K3HLE.

He also was a gunsmith, locksmith and a firearms instructor, and in recent years, worked part time at Continental Arms, a Timonium pistol range.

"He enjoyed making keys and repairing locks," said his wife of 43 years, the former Jackie Phillips.

Mr. Kraft was a member of Providence United Methodist Church.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Mitchell Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road in Rodgers Forge.

Also surviving are two daughters, Suzan Hofmann of Parkton and Janice Zach of Chicago; a sister, Helen Kraft of Towson; and two grandchildren.

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