Russell Kruse Obituary

Russell J. Kruse
Russell J. Kruse
Russell J. Kruse

January 5, 1940 - August 15, 2020
Born in Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Russell John Kruse, 80, of Johnston, formerly of West Des Moines, Davenport, and West Liberty, died on August 15, 2020, at the Des Moines VA Medical Center, from natural causes. Visitation will be Sunday August 23, 2020 at Westover Funeral Home 6337 Hickman Rd in Des Moines from 2-4 pm.

Graveside services will be 11:00 am Monday August 24, 2020 at Muscatine Memorial Park Cemetery 3300 Mulberry Ave in Muscatine.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Self-Help International or the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus.

Mr. Kruse was born on January 5, 1940, on a farm near Nichols, Iowa, to Clarence John and Erdine L. Atkins Kruse. He grew up on the family farm near West Liberty, was graduated from West Liberty Community Schools in 1958, attended one year at Iowa State University, and received an Associates of Arts degree in Business from Muscatine Community College in 1962. He served six years with the US Army Reserves, including six months of Active Duty Training at Fort Ord, California.

He married Doris Elizabeth Kemper on July 15, 1962, and they raised three children together in Davenport, where he lived for 34 years. They divorced in 2000, after which he moved to West Des Moines. In 2018, he moved to the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, where he enjoyed being a part of the community at McAuley Terrace and Martina Place.

Throughout his life, Russ was an involved father and member of his community. His children could count on him to attend every one of their band and orchestra concerts, baseball, basketball, and football games, and other events. He coached his son’s Dad’s Club softball team for four years, winning the City Title for two years back-to-back. He was a board member of the Davenport Central HS Band Parents, and he served as Scout Master for his sons’ Boy Scout Troop. In later years, he was a regular volunteer at the finish line of the Bix 7-mile Run, and he rang the Salvation Army bells at Christmas.

He and Doris gave their children a love of traveling, the great outdoors, and the joy of gathering with family and friends by camping on weekends and longer vacations in their Starcraft fold-out trailer. He was a master pancake maker, which was a highlight of every camping trip.

Russ was an active member of Christ United Methodist Church in Davenport, and held many positions in the United Methodist Men (UMM), including President of the Muscatine District UMM, five years as President of the Iowa Conference UMM, and two years as 2nd Vice President of the National UMM. Through these roles, he joined the Iowa Bishop on a two-week mission trip to Ghana, West Africa in 1982, and served five years on the Board of the Self-Help International Tractor Project in Waverly.

After moving to West Des Moines in 2000, he joined the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus, singing with them for 10 years and serving on its board for six years. He was also a member of the Walnut Hills United Methodist Church in Urbandale.

Among his occupations, he worked at two shoe stores in Muscatine during college and the first years of marriage, before moving to the J.I Case Company in Bettendorf, where he worked for 20 years in production control and shipping. After the farm crisis of the early 80s closed the plant, he became a customer service representative at Midland Press Corporation in Davenport for 10 years, and later, spent five years as a home equity loan processor for Wells Fargo Bank in West Des Moines, retiring in 2005.

He is survived by daughter Sheila Kruse (Thomas) Boyce, Miami, Florida; sons Todd (Gayle) Kruse, Iowa City; and Kevin (Jennifer) Kruse, Johnston; grandchildren Nicholas, Rachel, Maile, and Shawn Kruse; sister Carol Jean Kruse Rossmann, Ames; brother Jerry Lawrence Kruse, Mt. Vernon; and sister-in-law Christine Marshall Kruse, West Liberty; 16 nieces and nephews; and many grand-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Erdine Kruse; ex-wife, Doris Kruse, brothers Kenneth LeRoy Kruse and Terry Clarence Kruse; and brother-in-law Duane Roy Rossmann.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel





Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Sunday, August 23, 2020
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Graveside Service
Muscatine Memorial Park Cemetery
3300 Mulberry Ave
Muscatine, IA US 52761
Monday, August 24, 2020
11:00 AM