In Loving Memory – Donald Roger Kruse
Reverend Donald Roger Kruse, loving husband and father of six, passed away at the age of 92 on November 2, 2020 in the exceptional care of Serenity Care in Wood Village, Oregon.
Donn was born on September 12, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan to Harold and Mabel (Taube) Kruse. He was one of forth in line of five children. After his mother’s passing, Alice (Vinette) Kruse became his loving stepmother. After a childhood filled with faith, love, curiosity, pranks, and stubbornness, he graduated from Capital University in 1950 and enrolled in seminary there. He served his internship at Zion Lutheran church in Oregon City, Oregon, which is where he met the love of his life and future wife, Nancy Jo Sauers. Donn was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1953. While he was also committed to his faith, he was also committed to serving his country. He participated in the ROTC throughout junior high, high school and college and moved to active duty as a chaplain in the Navy after his ordination. He and Nancy married in 1954 and moved to Seattle, where Donald was stationed. He served in the navy in both active and reserve duty for 35 years, during which he participated in multiple tours to Japan aboard the USS General William Mitchell.
Donald was a man with a deep love of the Lord and the gift of making the mysteries of faith accessible and welcoming to all. He was a beloved pastor serving in Seattle (Zion Lutheran) and Anchorage Alaska (Hope Lutheran). He was then called to help establish St. Paul of Damascus Lutheran Church in Damascus, Oregon, where he eventually retired. In retirement, he and Nancy rejoined Zion Lutheran in Oregon City.
Donald embodied the phrase “zest for life.” With Donald around, life was never ever dull. He had boundless energy, endless jokes and teases, and a serious competitive streak, as anyone who played dominoes, Russian Rummy, or Yahtzee with him could tell you. He was known for wearing red socks on holidays, sneaking chocolate milk into the grocery cart for the grandkids, and making a scatalogical joke at just the right time. He was always on board for a White Castle burger or a Vernors ginger ale. Donald adored cars and was always seeking the next “beauty” which he would maintain with meticulous care. He and Nancy loved gathering with friends at game nights and church camp outs and their famous Christmas Open Houses. But he also loved quiet evenings in, eating ice cream or cookies and cross stitching. He shared his love of travel with his family and friends. He especially loved travelling by train, his visits to Japan as part of the Navy, and Disneyland (he always bragged about being born in the same year as Mickey Mouse).
Donald has joined his beloved Nancy in heaven along with his parents and several siblings. He will be lovingly remembered by his six children, Donn, Dan, Kathy, Kristie, Marty, and Mike, his 23 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He’s also survived and remembered by his sister, Lorraine and many nieces and nephews.
Donald’s ashes will be placed at Willamette National Cemetery where a small gathering of his loved ones will celebrate his life on November 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. with full military funeral honors. Pastor John Stevens of Zion Lutheran Church will be presiding. All funeral arrangements were made possible by Holman-Hankins-Bower & Waud www.waudsfuneralservices.com) located in Oregon City, OR. In lieu of flowers, Donald would prefer you to give to your local food bank or to the memorial fund at Zion Lutheran Church 720 Jefferson St. Oregon City, Oregon.
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