"I've lived a clean life," she said. "I would have one or two beers when we went out on Saturday night. That's all." A few days shy of her 100th birthday, Krause said she has bad feet, but her mind's okay.
"My head works just fine," she said with a chuckle.
The remarkably articulate Krause - who is also a bit hard of hearing - was born on June 23, 1902 in a section of Germany that has since been ceded to Poland.
Her parents, who never left Germany, ran a milk store in a small town that was not too different, she said, from Secaucus. Farmers used to bring milk from the dairies to her store, and she worked there for a while.
"It was hard work," she recalled. "I had to carry milk upstairs to people when they didn't pick it up."
She met her future husband at a dance in Germany and eventually got engaged. But their marriage waited until he made the trip to the United States, where he worked in order to get enough money to bring her and his brother across.
"It took him two years to save up enough money to bring his brother over," she said. "I came over a year later."
Krause came to United States in 1924. She laughed over a question as to whether or not she took a ship or flew.
"I came by steamship," she said. "We didn't have commercial airlines back then."
She said she didn't know much about America, and spent most of her life living in Jersey City or in Secaucus. Years later, she and her husband took three extended trips to look over the county.
Over the years, Krause went back Germany three times: once in 1930, again in the 1960s, and for the last time a decade ago as a present for her 90th birthday. Each time, fewer of her family members were still alive there. Her sister was still alive during the 1960s trip, but by 1992, Krause could find only nephews.
Although her husband worked briefly in a Jersey City delicatessen, he spent most of his life working as an electrician for the Copper's Coke plant on the shores of the Hackensack River in Kearny.
Until 1955, she and her husband lived in Jersey City. Then they moved to Secaucus. Although her house is currently situated in a suburban neighborhood surrounded by small houses like her own, in 1955, everything around her house was farmland.
"We moved here to get out of the city," she said.
Her husband Erich died in 1985 at the age of 84, and though a slightly sad note touches her voice when she talks about him, she has plenty of friends and is active in the senior citizen community in town.
She said she likes watching game shows on television and playing BINGO at the senior center. Indeed, her 100th birthday has drawn a bit of attention. The 60-plus senior group threw her quite a bash with a lot of balloons. St. Matthew's Church - where she is a parishioner - also threw her a party. Mayor Dennis Elwell and the Town Council intend to honor her with a resolution at the council meeting on June 25.
Even though nearly 60 years have passed since her coming to the United States, Krause still speaks German; in fact, she taught it to her daughter.
"It's always there," she said.