Cover photo for Robert James Kraft's Obituary
Robert James Kraft Profile Photo
1968 Robert 2022

Robert James Kraft

September 12, 1968 — February 8, 2022

Robert James Kraft, 53, of Ischia Ponte, Italy, husband to Alessandra Panzini, entered into eternal rest on
February 08, 2022, surrounded by his family.

Born on September 12, 1968 in Novato, CA, Robert was the son of Nickolas J. Kraft and Barbara Janke

Robert was preceded in death by his grandparents, Guenther and Charlotte Rotter Voll of Berlin
Germany and James Barry Kraft and Edith Anna Kraft of Berchtesgaden Germany.

In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived his sister Patricia J. Leahy and brother-in-law, Matthew
F. Leahy, nephews Jack F. Leahy and Quinn C. Leahy, of Charleston SC; uncle Michael Voll (Anka) and
cousin Lisa of Berlin, Germany; mother-in-law, Luisa Silvestri Panzini of Ischia Italy, sister-in-law,
Simonetta Panzini, brother-in-law, Marco Bellin, of Rome Italy, and nephew, Piergiorgio Orlandi of
Subiaco Italy. Also grieving Robert’s loss are extended family Dottie Collins of Salyersville, KY, Chris
Collins of Winchester, KY and Chantel Collins Settles of Lexington, KY.

Robert shared his home and heart in Ischia, Italy with his wife and one true love, Alessandra. He was
embraced and loved by the Italian community in which he lived. Last summer, Robert was determined
to regain his strength and began to swim as often as the open waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea would allow.
This determination led to his ability to swim three full laps – a distance of 3 kilometers – around the
Aragon Castle peninsula in the majestic Mediterranean waters. He was passionate about preserving the
nature he loved and also volunteered his time cleaning up debris in those same waters. He spent that
summer living life to the fullest, including boating with his friends and hiking around the hills of Ischia,
finding beauty everywhere he went.

Following his studies at Webster University in Vienna, Austria, Robert spent his entire career as a
professional pilot and mentor to new pilots. With a sterling reputation for integrity and safety, he was a
trusted resource to some of the world’s most elite aerospace companies, business leaders and
professional athletes and celebrities. Most recently he was a consultant to Gulfstream Aerospace
Corporation and over his career provided entry into service for over 100 new jets to flight departments
on six continents. Robert developed a tight brotherhood with his fellow aviators including his best friend
of more than 30 years, Josh Fletcher.

Robert developed a vast circle of friends in Italy and around the world. To know him was to truly love
him. He was a gentleman with a sharp sense of humor and a hunger to understand and learn. He gave
generously and joyfully, happy to know he could make a difference in someone’s life. He maintained a
steadfast and positive outlook on life. And while he never, ever gave up hope, he also was at peace
knowing God was his co-pilot.

A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at a later date this year at his home and final resting place in
Ischia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at or checks may be sent to the Connor Moran Children’s Cancer
Foundation, a charity Robert faithfully contributed to over many years to: Conner Moran, 401 Old Dixie
Hwy., Suite 4221, Jupiter, FL 22369.

Robert’s passing leaves a huge void in the hearts of all who loved him. The sea is empty without him.
The skies are empty without him. Our world is empty without him.
Ciao Robert!

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Robert nasceva il 12 settembre del 1968 a Novato, California. Robert e sua moglie Alessandra Panzini, vivevano a Ischia, circondati dalla bellezza della natura e del mare mediterraneo di cui i due erano profondi conoscitori e amanti.

Robert nasce da Nickolas J. Kraft e da Barbara Janke Stich. Queste righe che seguono vogliono rappresentare al meglio il segno che Robert ha lasciato in tutti noi.

Robert era pilota, sognatore e uomo di grandi valori umani. Chi ha avuto l’onore di conoscerlo, si rende custode di una grandissima eredità: devoto marito, fratello e figlio esemplare, amico leale.

Robert ha rappresentato, e ancora rappresenta, un’insostituibile presenza. La sua lealtà e fiducia negli esseri umani, nella scienza nella natura e la sua ammirevole curiosità lo hanno guidato in un’esistenza ricca di gioia e amore per la vita. Lo ha fatto sempre, specie nelle ultime fasi in cui ha ingaggiato, con mirabile coraggio e lucidità, la sua lotta per la vita. Ci ha insegnato come guardare avanti in modo fiero e ci ha resi custodi di un amore incondizionato rivolto verso sua moglie Alessandra.

Da pilota ha sempre volato alto, sicuro, portando i suoi cari nei luoghi più felici dello spirito umano. Amava la terra in cui viveva perché gli era stata donata da sua moglie, amava i suoi amici perché li considerava una fortuna.

Amava e rispettava profondamente i suoi familiari, portando loro la luce del sacro cavaliere armato dalla forza divina.

Amava il mare, il sole di cui Robert si sentiva parte. Amava Ischia e i suoi abitanti. Amava Maria Luisa, mamma di sua moglie. Con la scomparsa di Robert si spegne un’esistenza combattiva, guerriera, ma si accende una luce foriera di un sublime esempio.

Robert possedeva la sensibilità unica degli esseri umani e - forse perché spesso si trovava nei cieli a fare il suo lavoro - la tenacia e la passione unica degli eroi.

Per noi lo era, lo è e per sempre lo sarà.

Buon viaggio buon vento !

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