Don Kruse

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 1:10 pm

Don Kruse, 70, of St. Lucas, died suddenly Friday, July 31, 2015, at his home near St. Lucas. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in St. Lucas, with Monsignor Carl Schmitt officiating. Organist was Jeanette Dietzenbach. Cantor was Dan Silhacek. Special music: Jacie Pujol, French Horn and Allie Pujol, Trombone — “Amazing Grace”; Kelley Pujol, Flute — “He Shall Feed His Flock” by G. F. Handel. St. Luke’s Choir sang “Here I am Lord,” “I am the Bread of Life,” “Prayer of St. Francis,” “In The Garden” and “Canticle of the Sun.” Mass servers were Kelby Reicks and Kalvin Langreck. Lector was Dale Olson. A family reflection was offered by Tom Karau. Eucharistic ministers were Connie Kuennen, Sheila Reicks, Barb Reicks, Germaine Langreck and Jim Zajicek. Offertory gift bearers were Haley Bender, Carly Pujol, Paige Howell and Gianni Boebel. Honorary casket bearers were Brock Bender, Blake Bender, Aaron Boebel, Brandon Howell, Zeb Riley, Abrham Boebel and Jett Boebel. Interment was at St. Luke’s Catholic Cemetery in St. Lucas. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, Decorah.

Don Ralph Kruse was born Dec. 24, 1944, to Neal and Melania Kuennen Kruse of St. Lucas. Don lived the entirety of his life in the St. Lucas community. He graduated from St. Luke’s Catholic High School. He married Jeanette Hlubek June 5, 1965, and they raised two children, Kim and Kelley. They later divorced. He worked for John Deere in Waterloo for 38 years until his retirement in 2001. For several years in the 1970s he owned and operated Don’s Mobil in St. Lucas. Don was a skilled and meticulous mechanic. Don was known for his congenial personality and his infectious laugh. He enjoyed working on machines of all types, particularly automobiles. In his younger years he raced stock cars and ran demolition derby cars. Don married Karen Brownlee March 17, 2000. Together they enjoyed golfing and spending time with their many grandchildren.


Don is survived by his beloved spouse, Karen Kruse, St. Lucas; daughters, Kim (Collin) Bender of Waconia, Minn. and Kelley (Joe) Pujol of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Karen’s children: Jody (Kris) Burrows of Holmen, Wis.; Jennifer (Chad) Boebel of Hernando, Miss.; and Jason (Janet) Boebel of Cassville, Wis. He also is survived by brother, Jean (Glenda) Kruse of Oakdale, Calif.; sisters: Helen Pinter of Fort Atkinson, Mary (Tom) Karau of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Anne (Dale) Olson of Bozeman, Mont. His grandchildren are:  Brock, Blake and Haley Bender; Allie, Jacie and Carly Pujol; Brandon and Paige Howell; Aaron, Jett, Abrham and Gianni Boebel; and Zebulon Riley.     

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Neal and Melania Kruse; brothers, Jerome (Barb) Kruse, James Kruse; brother-in-law, Donald Pinter, Sr.; parents-in-law, Adeline and Leland Brownlee.


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