Remembering Myra Kraft – One Year Later
On July 20, 2011, the Foxborough community and the Patriot family lost Myra H. Kraft to cancer. Mrs. Kraft's kind and caring spirit was endearing and her philanthropic and charitable work was inspiring. One year later, we remember MHK.
One year ago today, not only the Foxborough community but the world, lost an inspirational woman dedicated to philanthropic and charitable work.
Myra Hiatt Kraft passed away on July 20, 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 68 years-old.
Today, we take time to remember Myra, late wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and all she did for Foxborough and communities around the world. Here’s a look back at how Myra was honored and rememberd over the course of this past year, starting with the statement from the New England Patriots following news of her death.
“The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family suffered a great loss,” the New England Patriots said in a statement of Myra’s passing.
Mrs. Kraft was heavily involved in the NFL team's philanthropic efforts. She was president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and was named in Boston Magazine's “Most Powerful Women in Boston” issue in February of 2011, five months before her passing.
This past January, the Foxborough community held an "Evening to Honor Myra Hiatt Kraft" at Gillette Stadium and Town Hall. Myra was honored for her philanthropic work, remembered for her kind and caring spirit and declared a “true model for women” by the town’s WWII Memorial Committee.
Myra has been remembered for devoting her entire professional career to philanthropic pursuits and for touching lives across the world, from Boston to small towns in northern Russia to Israel to South America and beyond.
During the Jan. 24 ceremony at town hall, citizens expressed gratitude for her contributions to the community and was honored for having the “courage of a lion.”
Foxborough also issued a proclamation to honor Myra, which read:
"On behalf of the people of Foxborough [we] are proud to join in honoring Myra Kraft." The statement further read that she reached out to countless of thousands of people in need through her participation in international, national and local endeavors.
Walpole resident and Foxborough Patch blogger Russell Goldman wrote the following on the day of Myra’s passing:
“Today is a very sad day for me with the news of the passing of Myra Kraft. What she has done in the community we live in with her philanthropy is quite amazing. Mrs. Kraft chaired the board for Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and the Boys and Girls Club of Boston. … Her impact with charitable foundations is felt here in New England and also in Israel.”
On the field, players of the New England Patriots and New England Revolutions – the two sports franchises Kraft owns – reacted to Myra’s passing at the time of her death with messages of sympathy, love and support.
Patriot Nation, which was impacted greatly by Myra’s work through the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, also mourned the loss of a true leader and inspiration.
In honor of a close friend and member of the Patriots' family, the organization dedicated the 2011-2012 NFL season to Myra and wore MHK patches close to their hearts during an inspirational year that fell one Hail Mary short of a Super Bowl championship.
Many believed she was watching over the Patriots this past season, especially in January's AFC Championship game. Myra's spirit was credited by more than a few for playing a role in the missed 32-yard field goal attempt by Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff in the closing seconds of the game, which promptly sent the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
In what has been a difficult year for all of those who knew Myra, Robert Kraft thanked the Foxborough community in January for all of its support.
“The two of us [him and Myra] have been embraced by the community of Foxborough – you have been very kind to us," he said.
It has been one year since her passing, but her spirit and work continue to live on.
Myra Kraft, you are dearly missed.
To read the New England Patriots biography of Myra Kraft, click here.
Call for Comments: What do you remember about Myra and her work in the community? Share your thoughts and messages in the comments section below!