Fran Kruse, age 97, went to be with her Lord on September 14, 2019. A Celebration of Life service at First Presbyterian Church will be Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. followed by a lunch in the church immediately following the service. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 27, at the church from 5:00-7:00 p.m. followed by a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral service. Pastor Sheila Pohl and Alana Hansen will officiate. Interment will be held at Wilmot City Cemetery following the luncheon.
Casket bearers will be K.C. Hildenbrand, Tyler Hildenbrand, Keegan Bullis, Jon West, Brian Pearson, Mike Davis, and Bob Lutter. Music will be provided by Sharon Ammann, organist, and members of the First Presbyterian Women’s Choir.
Franzella “Fran” Mae Kruse was born in Wolsey, SD, on November 13, 1921, to parents Francis “Frank” and Johanna (Nieland) Thorpe. The family moved to Wilmot in 1927 where they lived on a farm in Garfield Township. She attended rural schools and graduated from Wilmot High School in 1939. She went on to marry the love of her life, Orville Kruse, on December 27, 1945, in Wilmot. They took over his father’s farming operation in Springdale Township and continued to farm for 46 years before retiring and moving into Wilmot.
Fran graduated from Northern State College. She began her teaching career at Rural Summit Township School August 1940. She also taught at rural Lee and Garfield Township Schools prior to her employment at Wilmot Elementary School in 1966. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1971. She enjoyed a 35-year teaching career, positively influencing young people in the Wilmot area!
Fran loved the Lord all her life and was very active in the church. Fran was a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmot where she was involved in most every area of the church and church leadership. One of her pride and joys was to develop and post the church bulletin board until age 95.
Fran enjoyed her life in the Wilmot area and never wanted to move elsewhere. She loved family activities, traveling with her husband, and enjoying her grandchildren. The many activities at the Senior Citizens Center, school sporting events, and speckendicken suppers during the holiday season with friends were always the highlights of her life.
Left to treasure her memory are her three sons: Leon (Cindy) Kruse of Wilmot, SD; Alan (Betty) Kruse of Rock Island, IL; and Randy Kruse of McKinney, TX; seven granddaughters: Lacey (Jon) West of Carver, MN; Chloe (Brian) Pearson of Watertown, SD; Stephanie (K.C.) Hildenbrand of Lake Saint Louis, MO; Jamie (Chris) Phillips of Lenexa, KS; Kari (Keegan) Bullis of North Liberty, IA; Rachel Kruse of Overland Park, KS; and Shannon Kruse of Huntsville, AL; eleven great-grandchildren: Fredrick and Leo West; Madilyn Pearson, Tyler, Emma, and Claire Hildenbrand; Avery, Carson, Cooper, and Landon Phillips; and Broden Bullis; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins who she loved as her own.
Fran was preceded in death by her husband, Orville on June 17, 2002; her parents; and three brothers and two sisters: Chester, Wesley, Elroy, Velma, and Marcella.
The family wishes to thank Fran’s many beloved relatives, friends, and church members who supported and cared for her during her life. The family would also like to thank Fran’s caregivers at the Wilmot Care Center for their patience and kindness in caring for their mother/grandmother.
Wilmot Care Center
501 4th Street, Wilmot SD 57279