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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Thomas R. Kruse

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thomas Kruse
Thomas R. Kruse, 70, of Weslaco, Texas, a former long- time resident of Cherokee and beloved band director at Cherokee Washington High School, passed away on July 13, 2011, following a lengthy illness. A celebration of his life will be held Tuesday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee. Pastor Ron Kitterman will officiate.

There will be a family prayer service at the church Tuesday morning at 10:15. Visitation will be held today from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. with the family present 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. Burial will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee following the service.Online condolences may be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.

Tom was born on Aug. 3, 1940, in Aurelia, to Raymond and Ethel (Johnson) Kruse. He grew up in Aurelia keeping busy with his family, his love of music and playing his trumpet, playing football, raising and showing cattle, taking care of his horses, and helping his dad at his grocery store.He graduated from Aurelia High School in 1958, and continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D., graduating in 1962 with a Fine Arts degree in Music . He received his Masters in Music in 1966.

Tom was united in marriage to Judy Thompson on Aug. 12, 1962, in Garretson, S.D., and began his long and fulfilling career of teaching music in Hull, Iowa, where he was the high school band director. The couple moved to Fort Dodge, where Tom taught at Iowa Central Community College, and then Tom and Judy moved to Cherokee in 1974 where Tom took over as the band director at Washington High School. His passion and talent for music led to him directing and choreographing many years of shows that won the school countless accolades at competitions as far away as Winnipeg, Canada. His "Marching 150" band was revered all over Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

After almost 28 years of teaching, Tom decided to move on and worked as a fundraising salesman until retiring in 2010. He and Judy relocated to Texas in 2009 to enjoy the Rio Grande Valley. Tom was a member of the St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee, and faithfully served as the bell choir director there for 27 years.He had a great love of riding his Honda Gold Wing and was a member of the Western Iowa Cycle Riders and the RETREADS. He and Judy took many trips all across the United States enjoying the open road. Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law; and a sister, Janice Cuthrell. Survivors include his loving wife Judy; his son Scott (Judy) Kruse and his daughter Stacy Kruse, all of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; his two brothers, Don (Jean) Kruse and Roger Kruse, all of Texas; his treasured grandchildren, Jordan, Chase, and Riley Kruse; and many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.