Wilbur George Kruse, age 84 of Freeport, IL passed away at Presence of St. Joseph Center on Friday, August 9, 2019. He was born on June 2, 1935 at Dakota, IL to the parents of George and Mabel (Bricklen) Kruse and is survived by his wife, Beverly (Booth) Kruse of Freeport, IL. They were married on May 31, 1958 at Cherry Grove Church of Brethren by Rev. Merle Hawbecker and celebrated 61 years of marriage. They were blessed with 4 children. Ellen (Steven) Rice, Freeport IL, George (Michelle) Kruse Iowa Falls, IA, Susan Kay, deceased, (George) Dawson, West Bend, WI, and Harlan (Janet) Kruse, Juda, WI.
Wilbur & Beverly attended many dances at Turner Hall when they were first married. He loved to dance to polka songs, such as Birdie Red Wing; In Heaven There Is No Beer; and Beer Barrel Polka. How many remember the Halloween parties we held at our Kent home and the fun we all had? Monroe radio station was his favorite for listening, especially early morning while milking cows.
Wilbur loved his family very much. We all enjoyed camping for many years. He was “leader of the pack” many times while snowmobiling, attended many tractors shows, steam threshing shows and auctions. He loved meeting people and displaying items that he had built or restored. Wilbur loved to restore old tractors - either bought or given – over 100 in his lifetime, starting from scratch to restore them. We hosted many plowing demonstrations at our country home. He was a carpenter in his spare time adding to our home in the country, building storage sheds, making 35 scale model railroad depots of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, also many ½ scale model farm buildings – some of which were requested by various people.
Wilbur retired from Atwood Automotive/Dura on July 29, 1999 after 29 ½ years. He was a man who liked to meet and talk with everyone, telling stories or the odd joke. He was a volunteer Kent fireman with memberships at Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren, Eagles Club, Stephenson County Antique Engine Club (SCAEC), and Pearl City Lions Club.
Wilbur and Beverly have 6 grandchildren (Christopher & Logan Kruse, Bryan & Christopher Rice, Noah & Emily Kruse), and 5 great grandchildren (Autumn Kruse, Cassidy Rice, Jaxen Allen-Rice, Gabriel & Avarie). Survived by his sisters Dorothy Flock and Loretta Pfile and a sister-in-law JoAnn Kruse. Deceased are his parents, daughter Susan Kay Dawson, 3 brothers (Leslie Kruse, Sr., Donald Kruse, Fay Kruse), 2 sisters-in-law (Stella and Evelyn Kruse), 4 brothers-in-law (Robert Booth, Charles Booth, Melvin Pfile, Ben Flock.)
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 14th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Walker Mortuary, 321 W Main St, Freeport, IL. The memorial service will be on Thursday, August 15th at 10:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. also at Walker Mortuary. A time of fellowship will follow at the SCAEC Silver Creek Museum. A memorial fund has been established for the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club (SCAEC) 2965 S. Walnut Rd, Freeport, IL 61032; National Historic Cheesemaking Center 2108 6th Ave, Monroe, WI 53566; and FHN Hospice, c/o FHN Foundation, 1045 W Stephenson St, Freeport, IL 61032. Condolences may be shared at www.walkermortuary.com.