Craig Kruse is my brother and he always will be. That is more than enough for me. I have been given the honor of starting his obituary. This obituary is going to be posted on the Cache Valley Funeral Home website for others to comment on. That being said, we all get to tell a piece of his story. Read on.
Craig Olin Kruse was born February 7th 1977 to Loretta and Kent Kruse. He's the third of three siblings. He has the same middle name as our father affectionately known as Dad or pop. What we did not realize was that 12 years or so later we would have three more siblings when Dad married Dottie. We don't call each other step-brother and step-sister just brother and sister. In fact once we grew up and had spouses we are all just “family”; April and Rich, Dwayne, Carl and Morgan, then of course Craig with Ivonne and Savon, Cody and Kimberly, Kimberly and Josh. This family has grown and taken on some real gems. You guys did right by us moms and dad. You started Craig off with a solid foundation to be a hard working family man.
The family suffered a sudden loss of our brother, father, son, grandson, uncle, “Papa” any other name, other than late to dinner that he has been called. Craig died on his way to a VA appointment. He was riding his motorcycle and used his left turn indicator to change lanes, and while yet to be explained he changed 3 complete lanes into oncoming traffic and was in a head-on collision with another car. He was killed instantly. Friends and family may never know exactly what happened that day.
Mom [Loretta] spoke to Detective Sawyer of Salt Lake Police. The ME decided to only do an external autopsy due to his [Craig's] injuries. So we will never know if a medical emergency caused the accident. His official cause of death is blunt force trauma. While answers do matter, what matters most is that for the first time in over 20 years Craig no longer has a migraine. His knees and his back do not hurt. His injuries slowed him down greatly yet did not stop him from filling his heart in service to others and his family. He would do anything for anybody regardless of how much of a price he had to pay later in physical pain.
On that day July 23, 2019 at approximately 1:30 p.m. the family also believes something physically catastrophic happened to Craig and it was his time to go to heaven. His work complete in his physical body but never finished in his spirit. Craig's spirit and his teachings live on forever in our hearts and our minds. I guarantee you as a Christian man and a champion in the Church that Craig is in heaven.
A little background on that is probably in order. Craig was a happy-go-lucky sometimes feeling lost and perhaps a little angry growing up. When he joined the army his life became completely different. Then he had two wonderful children Brandon and Bethany. He was well on his journey of learning how to be a great father, husband, employee and leader at work.
To me Craig was a sassy butthole that was always on my nerves growing up, having to share a room with him. Later in life I know him to be humble, soft-spoken, level-headed, a great and patient father with lots of wisdom, also a military veteran through and through. There has been an awful lot of water under the bridge between all the antics that we pulled as kids and the beginning of his career. The ending of his career leading to full-time disability has its entirely different set of stories. That is your job to fill in those blanks with your wonderful memories and lessons that Craig has taught you over the years. Your stories will help finish this obituary.
What if your fondest memory of Craig?
When and where did you meet?
How did he impact you?
What life lessons of his do you carry with you?
As a family we would like to pay a special tribute to all of those that have surrounded us with love and support through this tragic loss. This list in no way can provide you with the scope of all of those who have participated in this support nor convey how you have touched us. Our heartfelt thanks to each one of you.
A witness at the accident scene that attempted CPR immediately after the accident
You never get their names, but from the accounts they were instrumental in those first few moments
Salt Lake Police Department
Detective Tom Sawyer and the entire team that responded to this call and the follow up to attempt to answer our questions of “why”
Mendon community and Mendon 1st Ward
No words can express the amount of efforts, money and emotional support these folks have provided us; meals, cleaning Craig’s yard, repair of water leaks, paying for the casket and vault for Craig’s final rest, continual daily contacts of support, guidance and love that just oozes out of this community! Your prayers and physical support has been so unexpected and overwhelming to each family member, truly you are angles of God.
Bishop Alan Harker
Bishop Harker has been such a blessing, touching bases with us almost daily to make sure our needs are being met. But he has truly been a roll up your sleeves type of guy that has joined and lead the pack on so many things that have arisen, yard clean up, even checking on the leaking water heater, bringing air mattresses and sleeping bags for family that will be arriving and staying at Craig’s. The emotional support for Brandon and Bethany to know they are not alone and the LDS church and community is here for them is something so priceless that it brings that wave of tears as I think of this overwhelming gift they are providing.
The Jenkins Family so graciously paid for the plot at the Mendon Cemetery. Saturday Lori took the kids to pick that special place they will forever be able to visit their dad. The Mendon cemetery is at the base of the Wellsville’s; Craig loved the Wellsville Mountains! But there is a lovely view of Mendon and Logan as well, such a lovely spot. We will forever be thankful for this generous gift.
The Driessen family is, has been and always will be “family”. From the first call they dropped all they were doing and rushed to Mendon to be with the family and support in any way they could. Karley stayed by Bethany as a constant support those first several days…what a rock she is, she learned well from Bob and Stephanie. Their constant support, encouragement, and sounding board is so invaluable, but even more importantly all of the laughter remembering the fun times and the silliness that abounded during trips and daily life with Craig will forever be cherished.
Cache Valley Mortuary
This is not an easy time, but the mortuary has made it easier than we could have imagined. Their experience and gentle manner made this a simple process. Their special accommodations of providing us time with Craig fulfilled a need to see him.
Chaplin Patrick Carver
We received a random call from Chaplin Patrick, Ministry Founder/President of Servant Riders. His compassion and offers of help and support, again were so unexpected and overwhelming that someone that didn’t know us or Craig would offer so much support. He has organized “Craig’s Last Ride” web page on Facebook and gathering of motorcycle riders that will provide a motorcade for the procession. His webpage has been an awesome way to get out the information of the funeral and a location for people to leave comments and memories of Craig.
Todd Oswald began a string on Facebook sharing pictures of Craig riding with his motorcycle group. These were great pictures of one of Craig’s loves; motorcycles. He couldn’t ride often due to his head pain, but loved every minute he was on his bike. These pics were instrumental in Chaplin Patrick’s creation of “Craig’s Last Ride” web page; Thank you Todd!
Family and friends
The wonderful outpouring of love, support and prayers from family and friends touches our hearts in a way we cannot explain; we are overwhelmed. The loss will be felt forever, we are so blessed to have each one of you in our daily lives to move forward one day at a time.
May God’s rich blessings pour out to all of you that have surrounded this family during this time of grief and celebration.