Louise Krazit, of Gotha, gathered with about 100 relatives of multiple generations for a family reunion in Ocoee.
Louise Krazit, now 88, remembers the moment she met her future husband at the roller-skating rink in Ocala. She was with her school friend, Betty, whose older brother was the handsome Bennie. She also tried to be in the right place when Bennie dropped off Betty at school.
Louise eventually would marry Bennie, and that union lasted 63 years before his death in 2013. The couple found themselves in Gotha, where they lived for 20 years and where she lives still today. She and Betty remain close friends.
On Saturday, Louise Krazit, Betty Harvey and nearly 100 other Krazits gathered for a family reunion in Ocoee to celebrate the story of Franz “Frank” and Agnes Krajasitz, Austrian immigrants who came to America in 1910 for a better life. She was 16, and he was 18.
The couple married after settling in Michigan, changed their last name to Krazit and eventually had 14 children, two of whom died in their youth.
Betty, the second youngest of the 12, is the last living Krazit child and resides in St. Petersburg.
The family reunion was attended by relatives from throughout the United States. Louise — who has three children, six grandchildren and soon-to-be-nine great-grandchildren — said this gathering takes place nearly every year in different parts of the state. A Krazit family Facebook page has allowed relatives to stay in touch and to share news and photos, including a newspaper clipping announcing that all six Krazit children who were in the military during World War II were returning home.
Many group pictures have been taken through the years, and every time the original 12 were together they lined up in the same order for a family photo. The lineup was altered with every death, but the photo tradition remained.
On Saturday, a photographer gathered the multigenerational group for a large family photo, evidence that Frank and Agnes made the right choice in coming to America for a better life.