Ellen L. "Thorna" (Brandstrup) Kraus, 78, of Sandusky, died Monday, April 26, 2010, in Stein Hospice Care Center, following a courageous battle with cancer.
She was born July 5, 1931, in Sandusky to Christian and Louise (Andres) Brandstrup. Ellen graduated from Sandusky High School in 1949. She married Andrew C. Kraus on March 3, 1951, and he survives.
Ellen began her career in 1947 at Richard Shoes in Sandusky. In 1949 she went to work for Western & Southern Life Insurance Company as an executive secretary until 1952. In 1964 she worked as an executive secretary at the Sandusky Register, and was the interim publisher of its sister paper, The Norwalk Reflector, in 1978.
It was in October 1978 that she began Thorna Ventures on Washington Street in Sandusky. She worked as a lecturer, counselor and instructor in metaphysics. Ellen owned and operated the Tea Rose Tea Room/Bed & Breakfast. She was ordained into the ministry of The Church of Inner Wisdom in 1992. She served the spiritual needs of clients through lectures, astrology, palmistry, Tarot, reading of tea leaves and her spiritual ministry by performing marriages, baptisms and funerals.
Ellen was a member and past auxiliary president of the Sandusky Yacht Club, past president of Lake Erie-Firelands tourist Council, a member of the Secretary's Club, and the Sandusky Business and Professional Women's organization. She enjoyed metaphysics, reading, artwork, cooking, interior decorating, entertaining, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting and was a very talented seamstress. She loved to travel and said, "There are so many wonderful things to do and take an interest in that time does not permit -- therefore, life will never be boring."
She is survived by her husband, Andrew C. Kraus; son, Andrew D. (Deborah) Kraus of Sandusky; daughter, Karen M. Pilkenton of Sandusky; granddaughters, Erika Kraus (Kyle) Roth of South Euclid, Ohio, and Brittany Louise (Marc) Lemmons of Chicago; great-grandchildren, Kade Andrew Kraus Roth and Liv Ellen Kraus Roth of South Euclid; brother, Christian (Debbie) Brandstrup of Port Clinton; sister-in-law, Rose Brandstrup-Smith of Bellevue; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Christian and Louise (Andres) Brandstrup; sister, Amelia Kleinoeder; brother, James Brandstrup; brother-in-law, Rich Kleinoeder; sister-in-law, Jeannie Brandstrup; and son-in-law, William D. Pilkenton.
Family and friends may call 3-8 p.m. Thursday at Groff Funeral Home, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky, where funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Pastor Darrel Gant will officiate. Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery, Sandusky.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870 or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Condolences may be shared with the family at grofffuneralhomes.com.