RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (Dec. 9)—Maurice H. Kraines, founder of automotive rubber mat maker Kraco Enterprises Inc., died Nov. 29 at age 84 at his home in Rancho Mirage.
Kraines founded Kraco Enterprises in 1954 after leaving the U.S. Air Force, where he flew bombers during World War II and the Korean War.
One of the firm´s first products was aftermarket whitewalls that snapped on to black-wall tires, according to Kraco´s history. Today the firm operates out of a 500,000-sq.-ft. factory in Crompton, Calif., making a wide range of aftermarket car mats that are sold through automotive and general merchandise retailers.
Kraines was a native of St. Paul, Minn.
In the mid-1980s and early 1990s, Kraines built Kraco´s name through owning and sponsoring a team in the Indy Car racing circuit, claiming the national championship in 1990 and winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 with Al Unser Jr.
Kraines is survived by his wife Yasuko Kraines; four sons, Larry, Steve, Dan and Ted Kraines; a sister, Anne Firestone; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
The family asks that donations be made to Chabad of California, c/o The Kraines Family Early Childhood Education Center in Los Angeles.