How the Krause Family Foundation Began
My family comes from a long line of tradespeople. My great-grandparents arrived in California in the 19th century. My mother's family came from Germany and Quebec, and my father's family came from Manitoba, Canada, by way of Russia. Butchers, printers, and furriers, they all eventually made their way to Los Angeles.
In the 1940s, my parents, Joe Krause and Jean Bruebach, each the child of a butcher growing up in a low-income neighborhood and the first in the family to continue education past elementary school, met and fell in love at City College in Los Angeles.
With the onset of WWII, Jean, a talented design student, interrupted her studies and classes at Chouinard Art School and went to work at Lockheed as a graphic designer. After the war, Jean did not return to school and went on to become a successful freelance graphic designer in Los Angeles. Joe joined the Marines and, after serving, continued his art education, earning a doctorate from USC. He was an art history professor at California State University at Long Beach until his retirement in his 80s. My father valued the crafts as well as the arts, and he often expressed that not everyone is destined or needs to choose an academic path in life, that people should choose a path that makes them happy.
As a child and adolescent, my sister Betsy did not find school engaging. Yet, as a young wife and mother, she helped build a successful therapeutic shoe company in the Bay Area that is now celebrating its 40th year. She was also a gifted artist and writer. Neither my mother nor my sister pursued a traditional college-to-career pathway. However, both women possessed distinctive and extensive technical skills and expertise that sustained rich, productive careers.
I started the Krause Family Foundation in 2010 in honor of my sister's and mother's career choices, my father's philosophy, and the history of my extended family. It is my hope that the Krause Family Foundation will help open the door to fulfilling lives for people who choose nonacademic career pathways.
- Suzanne Krause Langford