Virgil K. Kraus

March 13, 1928August 29, 2019

Virgil Kelly Kraus, age 91, passed away peacefully Thursday, August 29, in Kerrville, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Jane Lee. He is survived by his two children, Kenneth; Linda Nelson and her husband Mark; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He and his family were blessed to have almost daily visits and conversations with him over the last twenty months of his life.

Born March 13, 1928 in Pecos, Texas, he lived all across west Texas from Pecos to Odessa to Levelland during his youth. He settled in Houston after graduating from University of Houston with a degree in Petroleum Geology. His high success rate at finding oil and gas led to a widely read article in the April 1982 publication of Money magazine, which described Virgil’s partnership with Roger Chapman as the sole geologist employed by Chapman Oil and Gas.

Alongside his passion for finding oil, Virgil was also an accomplished tennis (and table tennis) player. As a high school senior, he was runner up in the Houston City tennis championship. He was in the process of trying out for the University of Texas tennis team when he suffered a ruptured appendix, causing a three-month hospital stay and effectively ending his pursuit of competitive tennis at the university level. After graduation he continued playing and maintained memberships at multiple tennis clubs over the years, including the Met and the Houston Racquet Club. He also participated in the World Oilman’s Tennis Tournament (WOTT) from its inception in 1977 until he could no longer compete, over thirty years later.

Virgil was an avid University of Houston football and basketball fan. He held season tickets for over fifty years, and attended every home game, which included the basketball ‘game of the century’ when UH defeated UCLA in the Astrodome.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be made to Peterson Hospice, Kerrville, TX.


  • Graveside Service Saturday, September 14, 2019


Virgil K. Kraus

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Mark Nelson

September 11, 2019

Virgil was a kind & wonderful person and it was such a blessing when the family moved him to Kerrville, Texas in 2017. Linda and I were able to visit him almost daily and when his son Ken moved to Center Point in 2018 the three of us included Virgil in our daily routine. While he was in Houston, we were constantly worrying about his health and safety. I'm convinced Virgil's life was enriched by being so near to us. The family was able to get him the best of care in Kerrville and it was great to see his eyes light up when we visited. Whenever Linda walked into Virgil's room there was no mistaking the love they had for each other, it was very special and it will be a memory I will have for the rest of my life... He will be missed but Virgil knew the Lord and he is a peace...