Penny Kraus moved to Bay St. Louis from Minneapolis 15 years ago and fell in love with the warm weather and the arts community.
"She'd just gotten a new car weeks before and was looking forward to taking art classes again," said her daughter Julie Prowizor. "Bay St. Louis has such an active arts community."
Kraus, 61, had painted as a teenager and picked it back up after retiring. Prowizor found a large barrel on her lot in the Riverview neighborhood, too heavy to be washed away.
"She'd painted a pelican on it and made it look like it was a pier with rope around it," she said. "Apparently, she'd wanted to put them all around the neighborhood, but people kept stealing them."
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Kraus, an independent widow, would talk about her two grandchildren to neighbors, and they said she glowed when she told them stories. She was active in the community, serving as the most devoted member of the civic association's board of directors, according to neighbors.
She put the messages on the neighborhood's welcome sign and helped organize the neighborhood watch. When somebody's pet went missing, the animal lover would help get the word out and search.
Kraus is survived by her mother, a twin brother, Prowizor and her two grandchildren.