Joan A. Kraft & R. Wayne Kraft

The Joan A. Kraft & R. Wayne Kraft Memorial Fund was established in 2016 by former LVCF Board of Governors’ member, Ellen M. Kraft, Esq., in loving memory of her parents. The donor-advised fund provides grants to charitable organizations in the region, as a means of memorializing the philanthropic nature of the late R. Wayne and Joan Kraft.

R. Wayne Kraft, Jr., was a 1948 graduate of Lehigh University, who served in the US Army Corps of Engineers during WWII. Dr. Kraft returned to Lehigh in 1962 as a Professor of Metallurgy and Materials Science.  He was a specialist in the fields of physical metallurgy, X-Ray diffraction, solidification and crystallography. He held multiple patents, wrote more than 50 technical papers and received multiple professional awards, including the prestigious Bradley Stoughton Award.  He also taught philosophy at DeSales University and was an ordained Deacon in the Allentown Diocese.

Joan Auchter Kraft was a 1946 graduate of Cornell University, receiving a degree in the field of Home Economics. She taught at the Connecticut College for Women. Joan became the first woman to serve as a volunteer associate chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital, having obtained a degree in pastoral care.  Among her many talents, she was an excellent cook and was always the first to deliver a batch of homemade cookies to a new neighbor or to take a pre-made casserole dinner to someone coming home from the hospital or grieving the loss of a loved one. She worked tirelessly at the New Bethany soup kitchen until she was in her 80s and encouraged volunteers to be cheerful and interact with those who came for a meal, not just serve them their food.

This memorial fund allows Joan and Wayne to continue to make a difference in people’s lives, though during their lifetimes their generous gifts to various charities were usually made anonymously.

Grants from the Fund have supported:

  • Allentown Rescue Mission
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown
  • Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley
  • Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart
  • New Bethany Ministries
  • Northeast Ministries
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • St. Anne’s Catholic Church
  • St. Anne’s Education Endowment Fund