Kraushaar’s name to remain as legacy for senior agency she led
Silver Key honoring long-time leader’s memory
Millicent E. “Mikki” Kraushaar, who is credited with building Silver Key Senior Services into a strong non-profit agency for elderly citizens, died Dec. 7 after a
several-month battle with illness.
She was 73 years old.
A memorial service will be Friday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Grace Church & St. Stephen's, 601 N. Tejon St., of which she was a member. A reception at the church will follow.
Silver Key staffers plan a remembrance program of their own Wednesday, Dec. 19, according to David Shaffer, the agency's current CEO, who was hired by Kraushaar as an administrator in 2004. In conjunction with the staff appreciation, he said, the main reception area of the Silver Key building at 2250 Bott Ave. will be renamed for Mikki and her husband Leonard, who had preceded her in death in 2002.
Shaffer added that "in 5 or 10 years," when he hopes that Silver Key can finalize plans and fund-raise sufficient funds for a brand-new operation, it is possible that the entire facility would be named after Kraushaar.
Although she was not its originator, Kraushaar headed Silver Key's development from its inception in 1971 until her retirement in 2004. She left an agency whose employees and volunteers continue to assist at least 12,000 seniors a year living on their own in the Colorado Springs metro area with food, transportation, various household needs and even guardianship. "She cast a long shadow on the community," Shaffer summed up.
She stayed nominally involved with the agency after retirement, but began suffering health problems in the past year. She was unable to attend a gathering called in her honor at Silver Key last September and, in a hospital visit Nov. 21, "she talked about having 15 respiratory problems," Shaffer said.
He also visited her the day before she died. Her mind was still strong, but he could tell she was physically suffering, and "she just slipped away the next day," Shaffer said.
Kraushaar was born Nov. 29, 1934, in Pontiac, Mich., to Daniel and Helen Tosich. Her father was an immigrant from Serbia. In her earlier adult life, she worked as a teacher in Michigan and Japan.
As Silver Key's president and executive director, she and the agency received numerous awards for excellence and service.
She is survived by two sons, Michael and Philip; a sister, Joy McCurdy; and six grandchildren.
"Mikki was a kind and loving lady, a loyal friend, a comfort and inspiration to many," reads her obituary. "She will be missed dearly by her family and friends."