The owner of several former Denton car dealerships, J. David “Dave” Krause, 82, died Sunday at his home in San Jose, Costa Rica.
After a short career in the oil and gas industry, Krause became a beer distributor for Bee County in southeast Texas. In 1965, he began selling cars, eventually becoming a general sales manager for Menger Oldsmobile in Corpus Christi, according to his son, Kurt Krause of Denton.
In 1975, he and his family moved to Denton, where he bought a Pontiac dealership from Monk King in 1975.
The dealership, which was located downtown near where the former Wells Fargo bank drive-through was located between Locust and Elm streets, is where he first became known as “Krazy Krause.”
A year later, he bought the Toyota dealership on University Drive. He relocated his Pontiac dealership and, with the Toyota dealership, operated both at 1610 W. University Drive. In the early 1980s, he bought the Dodge dealership.
In 1992, he sold the dealerships to the Bill Utter family and James Wood and then retired.
During his time in Denton, Krause was involved in several local organizations, including the Rotary Club, Denton New Car Dealers Association, Mean Green Club, United Way of Denton County and the Denton Chamber of Commerce where, as board member, he hired current chamber president Chuck Carpenter in August 1982.
Serving as what is now called board chairman of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Krause also chaired the selection committee which chose Carpenter.
A pragmatic man, Krause was to the point, Carpenter recalled. “He was the right guy to be guiding me,” he said, referring to his early start as president at the age of 29. “He told it like it is, but it was always in my best interest.
A successful businessman, Krause shared his knowledge with Carpenter.
“He was kind of like a surrogate father,” Carpenter said. “He will be missed, that’s for sure.”
Krause also served as chairman of the Mean Green fund drive and served on the U.S. Senatorial Advisory Board for the National Automobile Dealer Association.
Krause was also known as “one of a kind,” his son said.
“People always tried very hard to earn his affection and his respect,” Kurt Krause said, because it was hard to earn.
Krause also served as a member of both the Texas Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
But away from work, Krause would often grab his family and head for their getaway house at Moss Lake.
“We went there religiously every weekend for years,” Kurt Krause recalled. “We’d get in the car as soon as he got off of work Friday, and we’d come back late Sunday night.”
Born June 24, 1930, in Corpus Christi, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Texas in 1950. On April 6, 1951, he married Bessie Ellen Biddle in San Antonio. Together, the couple raised two sons, Kurt Krause and Andrew Krause Sr. of Point Marion, Pa. He was preceded in death by his wife.
Survivors also include five grandchildren: Kayla and Amanda Krause of Denton and Andrew Jr., Zachary and Jeremy Krause, all of Lincoln, Neb.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in San Jose, Costa Rica. Memorial gifts can be sent to the American Diabetes Association or a charity of the giver’s choice.
DAWN COBB can be reached at 940-566-6879. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .