1931 - 2017
Artist, Author, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Father
Don Kracke often joked that he knew exactly what he wanted his tombstone to read: “Now, here’s my plan…”
Between his birth on July 9, 1931 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and his peaceful passing on April 15, 2017 in Palm Springs, California, Don’s plans took him a great many places. From his early years as a budding artist in Illinois and California, he went on to study design at UCLA through the Air Force’s ROTC program. After graduating, he married his first wife, Margaret McHugh, with whom he would have four children, Lisa, David, Theo, and Kristina. The newlyweds then moved to Florida for Don to complete his military service, where he made his mark directing training films and painting murals in the Orlando Air Force Base Officers’ Club.
All the while, Don made his name as a prolific and iconoclastic artist, crafting paintings, sculptures, line drawings, photographs, and cartoons in a dizzying range of styles, all with tongue firmly in cheek. He co-created the nationally-syndicated comic strip Yankee Doodles; ran a successful advertising agency; wrote multiple bestselling books on entrepreneurship; lectured at his alma mater, UCLA; invented Rickie Tickie Stickies, the flower stickers that defined the ‘60s and ‘70s; regaled audiences on Oprah, Nightline, The Merv Griffin Show, and others; and as anyone who knew him can attest, never stopped looking for the next big project.
Though Don knew that even the best laid plans often go awry, he embraced that knowledge till the end. He never wanted for good times or bad jokes, was loved by all who knew him, and refused to take himself—or anything else—too seriously. By any measure, his was a life well lived.
Don is survived by his four children, all at least as irreverent as he; his seven grandchildren, each inspired by his creative wit in their own way; his wife, Silvia; and more beloved family and friends than could possibly be enumerated here.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held on June 9, 2017 from 1:00pm-4:00pm at The Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA. All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact DonKrackeMemorial@Gmail.com or call 805-699-5887.
Please visit Don's Memorial Website at: http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/Donkracke/homepage.aspx