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Danna Jean Ulrich McCracken (1928-2022)

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Danna Jean was born Sept. 28, 1928, in Sylvan Grove, Kan. to parents Hilda and Ray Ulrich. She was the oldest of four children with siblings Darrel, Wanda, and Dee.  She grew up in Kansas living in Sylvan Grove, Lincoln, and Ellsworth. It was at Ellsworth in the senior high school that she met Donald McCracken, who became her husband and best friend.  

On Sept. 2, 1949, Danna and Don were united in marriage in Ellsworth.  Their marriage was founded on their love of  their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They joyfully and faithfully served Christ together as they raised their family and worked in ministry.  Their family included two sons, Clyde and Duane, and one daughter, Janet.  

She was a loving mother who, through example, taught her children grace, forgiveness, humility, hospitality, respect and love for others. She not only enjoyed cooking for her immediate family, but for all family at holidays and gatherings. Family was her first priority, whether it was conquering her childhood fears so she could learn how to water ski with her children or making sure each child was tucked in bed with nighttime prayers.

Danna was the quiet strength that supported Don in his role as pastor at La Cygne, Kan. Calvary Baptist, The Baptist Church of Concordia, First Baptist Church of El Dorado, and The First Baptist Church in Liberal. Danna not only hosted many church dinners in their home, she on more than one occasion opened up her home and mealtime to stranded travelers.  

She also served as “host mother” to two international college students. While in El Dorado she taught at the First Baptist Daycare and Pre School for several years. She looked at her time in the daycare as an opportunity to minister to both the children in her care as well as their families.

Upon retirement, Don and Danna moved to Ness City, Kan. where they enjoyed serving as lay leaders in the First Baptist Church. Danna served on the leadership board and loved being a part of the children’s ministries.  Retirement also gave her the opportunity to pursue her love of reading. She was a frequent visitor to the Ness City library as well as her monthly reading of several Christian magazines that kept her informed of God’s work throughout the world.  

She and her husband shared a personal commitment to and interest in the ministry in India. Danna and Don made several trips to India, leaving behind a legacy of God’s outreach.  

Preceding Danna in death was her beloved husband, Don; infant son, Robert.; brother Darrel Ulrich; sister Wanda (Ulrich) Anderson; as well as several sisters and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by her eldest son Clyde McCracken and wife Kay of Ness City, grandson Christopher (Katie) and three great-grandsons of Andover and grandson Philip (Lindsey) of West Palm Beach, Fla.; her son Duane (Trena) of Overland Park, grandson Clark (Lindsay) and three great-granddaughters and one great-grandson all of DeSoto and granddaughter Danae McCracken Rus  (Darren) and two great-granddaughters of Overland Park; her daughter Janet McCracken Wittwer (Dan) of Dawson, Neb., granddaughter Alicia (Jordan) Andrew and two great-granddaughters, all of Auburn, and grandson Nathaniel (Chelsea) Wittwer and two great-grandsons all of Lenexa, Kan.

She also is survived by her youngest brother, Dee (Helen) Ulrich of Colorado Springs, Colo. as well as many nieces and nephews and their families.

Danna believed that God’s most important work for her was that of being a loving wife, mother and grandma. She knew that to love her family in the best way possible was to love Christ first. And she did.  

Saturday, April 23, 2022 she left this earth to live life to the fullest in heaven for eternity with her Lord and Savior.      

Visitation will be from 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 29, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home in Ness City, Kan. An opportunity for family and friends to share memories and Danna’s influence upon their lives will be from 11–11:30 a.m. All are invited to the graveside service that will follow.  

Family and friends are then invited to share together at a luncheon at the First Baptist Church.