SABETHA, Kan. Leo Frank Kruse, 97, of Sabetha, peacefully passed away August 26, 2020.
He was born in rural Hamlin, Kansas, on Feb. 5, 1923, the son of Daniel and Amalia Brockhoff Kruse.
Leo attended primary school at Hamlin, and spent one year at Hamlin High School, where he left in 1939. As a child, he loved playing with grasshoppers, so he earned the nickname Grasshopper. People who knew him well called him Grass for short.
He married Bertha Gerdes on Nov. 7, 1943, at St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Fairview, Kansas.
Leo worked as a tractor mechanic for Alvin Dietrich in Falls City, Nebraska. In 1948, he started farming on the David Stewart farm and in 1954, moved to the Lewis Helvern farm.
He drove semi-trucks for James Bartram from 1964 to 1984, when Bartram sold his trucks. Leo also farmed for himself, until he officially retired in 2014. He still liked telling his son and grandsons how to farm, even after his last harvest! Some of Leos free time was spent playing cards, watching the news, and watching ball games on television.
Every time that any of his grandkids came to visit, his eyes would light up with excitement and joy! He always told them how he was going to learn them something! He was a huge fan of Berthas cooking, especially her peaches, which he continued to ask for during his last hospital stay.
Leo was a member of St. Pauls Lutheran Church of Fairview, where he had served as trustee through the years.
Survivors include: his wife, Bertha, of Sabetha; a brother, Kenneth, of Arkansas; grandchildren, Jeremy Kruse (Christy) of Wamego, their children Emma, Jack, EllieKate, Jamie Boog Kruse (Teri) of rural Morrill, their children Maggie (fiance; Lane Holliday), Morganne, Jared, Janie Murk (Eric) of Junction City, Kansas, their dogs Lily and BJ.
Preceding him in death are his children, Larry, Darlene, and Jann; daughter in law, Kathryn Kruse, parents; and 11 siblings.
A Celebration of Leos life is planned for 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 31, at Zion Lutheran Church Hiawatha, with Pastor Michael Dunaway officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Hiawatha.
Friends may call at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Judes or St. Pauls Lutheran Church, of which may be left in care of the funeral home.
A special message or remembrance may be sent to the family at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com Refer to live services at the funeral home Facebook group page: Chapel Oaks Hiawatha & Highland KS. As published in the Hiawatha World.