Susan Kruger

A Memorial Service for Susan F. Kruger will be held on Monday, May 2, 2022, at 11:00 am at the Wilcox Community Church in Wilcox, Nebraska, with Pastor Craig Cedar officiating.  A private inurnment will be held at the Wilcox Cemetery, Wilcox, Nebraska.  

The service will be live streamed via the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Homes Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Nelson-Bauer-Funeral-Homes-111601113801622

Susan Frances Kruger, 92 years of age, of Holdrege, Nebraska, formerly of Hesston and Wichita, Kansas, passed peacefully on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at the Christian Homes Care Community at Holdrege. 

Susan Frances Funk was born on April 2, 1929, in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan, as the youngest child of Anna (Janzen) and Jacob Funk, Ukrainian Mennonite immigrants who arrived in Canada in July 1923. She received a good education and enjoyed school in this town of fellow Ukrainian and Russian immigrants, as well as, British Canadians. She also worked in her father’s grocery store, where her father taught her to greet people with a smile and “How may I help you?”  These experiences provided her with a rich life in a multicultural society. She graduated from the Grey Nuns School of Nursing in Saskatoon in 1950.

After her graduation, Susan felt a calling to missionary work with the needy. Harold Kruger and Susan were married on June 21, 1953 and joined hands with the Mennonite Brethren Mission Board to prepare for work in the Belgian Congo. From 1953 to 1964, they served the board. 

She studied new languages and took courses in tropical diseases in Belgium and then had an internship in the Kikwit State Hospital. They settled and worked in Kafumba where she directed the dispensary. During this time their three children were born: Rebecca Jane in Bruxelles, Belgium; Patricia Gayle and Grace Ellen in Kajiji, Congo. This time in the Congo was tumultuous. Independence was granted to the Congo by the Belgians in 1960, during a time of terrorist groups and revolutionary activity all over the Congo. When destruction occurred at the Kafumba compound where they lived, they evacuated and returned to Wichita, Kansas in 1964.

Susan Kruger’s goals in the next period of her life were to bring some stability to her family. She began to work toward enhancing her education. Her potential was challenged during this time and she especially appreciated her work experiences at Wichita State University in the School of Nursing where she taught and/or directed the school for over 26 years. 

She retired in 1998 and they moved to Schowalter Villa in Hesston, Kansas.  During this time, she worked especially toward spiritual and personal development. She read widely, developed her gifts as a watercolorist, and enjoyed swimming, walking, and meeting many new friends. In her life she has met many challenges and done well with some and not so well with others but “through the grace of God in Christ the messes we are can be made beautiful.”  In 2017, the couple made their home in Holdrege, to be closer to family due to Harold’s declining health.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harold Kruger in July 2018; siblings:  Frieda Schroeder (Henry); Anne Kruger (Wesley); Katie Wiebe (Walter); and Jack Funk (Joyce); siblings-in-law:  Alvena Epp (Jake); Frieda Klassen (Joe); Doris Keith, Archie Kruger; and Wesley Kruger (Anne).

Susan is survived by her three daughters:  Rebecca (Jim) Gaudino of Portland, Oregon; Trish (John) Ferree of Peoria, Arizona; and Grace (Mark) Adam of Wilcox; four grandchildren:  Suzanna (Matthew) Stagemeyer of Overland Park, Kansas; Levi (Brooke) Adam of Wilcox; Zachary (Staci) Adam of Hyannis, Nebraska; and Olivia (Rob) Nichols of St. Joseph, Missouri; ten great-grandchildren:  Elijah, Michael, and Violet Stagemeyer; Truly, Tell, Lively, and Wesley Adam; Braxton and Kyson Adam; and Liam Nichols; siblings-in-law:  Gwen Kruger and Bill Keith, both of Canada. 

There will be no visitation or viewing.  The family has chosen cremation.  

Memorials can be made in Susan’s memory and honor to:  the Dr. Susan F. Kruger School of Nursing Scholarship/Fellowship, Wichita State University Foundation, 1845 Fairmount, Campus Box 2, Wichita, Kansas, 67260–0002 or at www.foundation.wichita.edu/memorials-honors Thank you.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com 

The Bauer-Torrey & Mach Funeral Home in Wilcox is in charge of the arrangements.