Myra Kraft, Wife Of Patriots Owner, Dies After Battle With Cancer

FOXBORO (CBS/AP) – Myra Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has died after a battle with cancer.

She was 68 years old.

The Patriots made the announcement in a statement Wednesday morning:

“Words cannot express the deep sorrow that we feel in learning of the passing of Myra Hiatt Kraft. Myra passed away early this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. We are all heartbroken. The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family have suffered a great loss.”

The Krafts were married for 48 years.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports from Gillette Stadium:

LIFE OF CHARITY

Myra Kraft held key positions in numerous charitable and community organizations.

She managed the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation and was president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, which contributed millions of dollars to charities in the United States and Israel.

In 1995, she became the first woman to chair the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, a position she held until 2002.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jim Smith spoke to fans at the Patriots Pro Shop:

She married Robert Kraft in June 1963 while she was a student at Brandeis University.

Myra Kraft was the daughter of Jacob Hiatt, who grew up in Lithuania and moved to the United States in 1935. He settled in Worcester, where she was born.

Hiatt became president of the E.F. Dodge Paper Box Corp. in Leominster in 1938 and stayed on when it was bought by Whitney Box.

The company is now known as the Rand-Whitney Group which Robert Kraft bought in 1972.

He now serves as its chairman and chief executive officer.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.

Myra Kraft also served as chairwoman of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and was on the board of directors of the American Repertory Theatre, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and Brandeis.

FAMILY’S LEGACY

The Krafts have four sons, Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David.

Jonathan is president of the Patriots. Daniel is president and CEO of International Forest Products, founded in 1972 by his father.

Joshua is president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

REACTIONS

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork called Mrs. Kraft a “wonderful woman” in a Twitter post after the announcement.

Read: Past And Present Patriots React

Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence released this statement:

“Myra was a true Brandeisian. She was the daughter of one of the visionary early leaders of Brandeis, a distinguished graduate and a trustee who had a deep sense of the university as a community. She was always reaching out to students, faculty and other trustees and served as a model to all of us in so many ways. Myra was not just a philanthropist, she was a humanitarian in both a personal sense and a community sense. She will be missed by countless friends and by all those who benefited from her tireless work and wisdom.” 

From Barry Shrage of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies:

“She was more than an amazing volunteer leader – Myra was also a beloved friend, and we will miss her dearly. Her personal acts of loving kindness were an essential part of who she was as a person. No one in need was ever turned away.

Most importantly, Myra was a loving wife to Robert, who adored her and she was a loving, proud and devoted mother and grandmother to Jonathan, Dan, Josh, and David and their children.

Our hearts are with the Kraft family and all those who loved her.”

A public service for Myra Kraft will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at Temple Emmanuel in Newton.

In lieu of flowers, the Kraft family has asked that donations be made in her name to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund

50 Congress Street

Suite 730

Boston, MA 02109

If you would like to leave your condolences to the Kraft family, please leave a message in the comments section below.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. alan says:

    New England has lost a sweetheart. It is a very sad day for all of New England.

    1. Nancy W. says:

      Dear Mr. Kraft and sons,
      You were blessed to have a wife, mother, and caring woman in your lives. Her energies were dedicated to reach out and make life better for untold numbers of people. Myra Kraft is truly one who has made a difference in the lives of others. My condolences in your loss.

    2. Erika C. says:

      Mr. Kraft and Family,

      We were saddened to hear of the loss of Myra today. Her amazing gift of charity work made her a role model for all of us. We should all learn from her examples and carry on her legend with pride.

      Our thoughts are with you all.

  2. Anne Mori says:

    We are so sorry to hear the sad news of the passing of Myra Kraft. She was a generous,warm and classy lady. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  3. Mia says:

    My condollences to the Kraft family; my family and I will be keeping you all in our prayers.

  4. christopher mehegan says:

    my condolances go out to the entire kraft family very sad day today for all patriots fans lets wrap up this labor deal so we can play football and win our 4th super bowl in her honor r.i.p myra all new england patrios fans on this day salute u and remember u

  5. Jacqueline says:

    While working as a lifeguard in my teens, I had the pleasure of meeting the entire Kraft family on many occasions. They were always such friendly people. I hope she will rest in peace. Many thoughts and prayers to her family at this time.

  6. John Dough says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Kraft family. Myra was a special person and will be missed.

  7. Ellen says:

    I pray for the Kraft family and may this sweetheart of a lady rest in peace.

  8. Marian says:

    We have lost one of the the most beautiful ladies. She and her husband were a team in life and one of the beloved ladies in football.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kraft family today.

  9. Ryan says:

    I am a long-time Cowboys fan, and in no way a Patriots fan, but this goes beyond football. Myra fought just as hard as her husband’s team. It is a said day for New England, football, and the Kraft family. My condolences are with you all.

    1. Barbara says:

      Ryan, you are a class-act…and you are correct that it goes beyond football.
      Well done.

  10. Sandra Vallieres says:

    My prayers are with the Kraft family is this sad time. Mrs. Kraft was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. God Bless.

  11. tsal says:

    Sincere condolences to the Kraft family. God Bless.

  12. Clorinda Thorne says:

    My deepthest sympathies to the Kraft Family. May she be at peace.

  13. Barbara says:

    My heart broke when I read of Myra’s passing…when the death of someone you don’t know personally has that kind of effect on you, that’s a rare soul…the Heavens are richer today, and we are poorer for the loss. My condolences to the Kraft family and the New England Patriots family…after her battle, may she rest in peace.

  14. Fern Berger Weisman Kurland says:

    May G-d comfort you among the mourners of Zion. So sorry to hear that such a wonderful woman has left us physically. May her memory be for a blessing.
    Fern Berger Weisman Kurland (Brookline High, class of ’59)

  15. Lori says:

    My sincere condolences to the Kraft family and the Patriots family. RIP Mrs Kraft. and God Bless

  16. Scott Shapiro says:

    My condolences to the Kraft Family.

    Myra, your work in the community was appreciated and people always spoke highly of your dedication.

    Bob, I admire your ability to support your family and deal with the NFL lockout at the same time.

    Times like these put everything in perspective.

    May she rest in peace…

  17. Mary Seferi says:

    Myra will always be pain free now in the loving arms of our Lord. I feel so sad for her husband and family. May God give you peace and understanding.

  18. stacey says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Kraft family today. A great woman was lost today, if only all of us could do what Myra did this world would be a better place. May you rest in peace in the arms of God.

  19. Art says:

    To the Kraft family,
    May Myra rest in peace..My thoughts and prayers to all of you..

  20. Al says:

    My condolences to the entire Kraft family. Myra’s passing is a terrible loss for you, but I hope you can take a moment in your grief to reflect on what a special woman she was, not only to you but to everyone who was touched by her kindness and generosity. Her time and energy was given gladly to help people who have a more difficult life. Take comfort in the fact that everybody will have a warm memory of her.

  21. Lou says:

    God speed Myra. My heart felt condolences go out to the family. May the patriots play every game in memory for her!

  22. Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald says:

    Myra was an Icon, I’m sure her loss will be felt deeply by many. The legacy she has created is something the entire Kraft family should be very proud of. My heartfelt condolences for an immeasurable loss.

  23. Jim Haines says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss Mr Kraft. God be with you at this time.

  24. Barbara says:

    to the Kraft family and the New England Patriots. I pray that God would give you all the strength and courage to move through this time in your lives. You will always have fond memories of Myra with all that she was for your family and all that she was for the Team. I send you my sympathy and I pray that God give you peace within your hearts and minds.

  25. Michael says:

    We have lost one of our finest people. A great credit to us all, who we we truely miss.

  26. Rose Norton says:

    My condolences go out to the entire Kraft family on this sad day. I had the honor of meeting with Myra at my daughter’s wedding shower and found her to be a very down-to-earth, extremely gracious lady. Her suffering has ended now and I’m sure that she is up in Heaven with God. May He bless your family through this extremely hard time and may you know that everyone’s prayers are with you.

  27. Tammy Smith says:

    My thoughts and prayer’s go out to the kraft family , I’m a big New England Patriot’s fan an this is a tough loss for the Patriiot’s and for eveyone in New England that has seen Myra Kraft at the games by her husband side . Again I’m sorry for your loss and the loss of a very giving person .

  28. Joan Petty says:

    Sorry for your loss , Myra seem to be a a special person and a very giving person . My thoughts and prayer’s are with the kraft family and the Patriot’s at this very sad and diffcult time . God Bless You and Your Family

  29. BoBUI says:

    What type of Cancer?

  30. Sallee says:

    Barbara, you said it best. Although I, too, never met Myra Kraft my heart aches for the entire Kraft and Patriots family. She truly was such a special and selfless lady. I will miss seeing her in the Kraft family suite during the games. Let’s get onto football so we can dedicate this season to an angel who will be watching over the team. God bless.

  31. HENRY PALLADINO says:

    MR KRAFT, I SHOOK HANDS WITH YOU ONE DAY AT RAYTHEON . NEVER KNOWING AT THAT TIME MY OWN WIFE HAD BRAIN CANCER.GOD SOMEHOW HAS SAVED HER SO FAR THANKS TO BRIGHAM & WOMENS HOSP.MYRA’S DONATOINS AND CARING MAY BE WHY. GOD BE WITH YOU BOB THANK YOU & YOURS SEMPER FI HENRY PALLADINO

  32. jonathan daniel joshua angel says:

    may god give blessings to her family and joy to overcome the past because we will see her one day in the heavens and be happy again. I will have a moment of silance for her.

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