Obituary of Gerald Krueger
After surviving being hit on his bicycle as a child by a drunk driver, three separate collisions with deer on his motorcycle, an additional major motorcycle accident causing 13 broken bones, and a cancer scare, Gerald (Jerry) Krueger passed away peacefully in the early evening hours of Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the age of 76 following Alzheimer’s and other health challenges. Christine LeBlond Krueger (nee Rumsey), his devoted wife of nearly nine years, was singing hymns at his bedside while he received comfort/hospice care at the Sunset Ridge Memory Care Center in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
Born to H. Ben and Marie (nee Alexander) Krueger on November 24, 1946, in Watertown, Wisconsin, Jerry worked long hours on the family farm in his early years. He attended Lake Mills High School, graduating in 1964 before enlisting in the United States Army. During his service, he was stationed for three years in Heidelberg, Germany, which allowed him to explore Europe, cementing his passion for travel, photography, cars, and motorcycles, as well as German beer steins and cuckoo clocks.
After returning to Wisconsin, Jerry would propose marriage only one month after meeting Marily Kutz from Fort Atkinson, Wis. Each Friday for months, after he got done with his shifts at Perry Printing in Waterloo, Wis., where he would work for over 30 years, he would speed his blue 1969 Chevy Camaro to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota where she had started her divine call as a Lutheran grade schoolteacher. They were married on August 16th, 1969, and were blessed with three children: Lisa, Chad, and Al. Marily passed away peacefully on March 10, 2014, at 67, at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, following a battle with pancreatic cancer, just shy of their 45th anniversary.
Clearly an eternal romantic, Jerry would only accelerate his usual timeline by proposing to Chris LeBlond within one week of meeting her as they watched the fireworks show at EPCOT at Walt Disney World on their second date. They would be married the following week at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beverly Hills, Fla., on March 25, 2015. Chris’s children, Scott and Cherie joined the combined family.
Following an upbringing as a Wisconsin farm kid, Jerry was no stranger to hard work and helping. To his children, he will be remembered as a dedicated provider who put their education and needs before his. He was a regular at their events, but from time to time missed games, wrestling matches, and musical performances while he picked up overtime shifts. Whenever guests and food were involved, he always offered to cook, and he never seemed happier than when bellies were full after he grilled chicken, baked ham, or served mashed potatoes. This passion continued later in life when he was a constant volunteer cook at St. Paul’s school in Beverly Hills, Fla. Sprinkled throughout his later life in Wisconsin and Florida, he also served as a school bus driver for Lakeside Lutheran High School and the Citrus County School District.
One of Jerry’s greatest joys was spending time with his eight grandchildren and six step-grandchildren.
In addition, his life was filled with many motorcycles, rides, and trips with his brother, Dick, and later his sons and grandsons. He was always quick with a story or to strike up a conversation with random strangers, to the utter embarrassment of his children and grandchildren. At home on Tesmer Lane in Lake Mills, Wis., Jerry cultivated a large garden with endless tomatoes and asparagus. For years, the family raised chickens for roasting, and pigs for the Jefferson County Fair, the sale of which was put toward a college fund for Lisa, Chad, and Al. He also was a big fan of Walt Disney World, visiting the first
year it was opened with Marily and many times in years after. This would also be an extraordinary place for Jerry and Chris when they were regular annual pass holders.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Christine Krueger; daughter, Lisa (Carl) DeSpiegelaere; sons, Chad (Paula) Krueger and Alan (Jennifer) Krueger; step-children, Scott (Andrea) LeBlond and Cherie Betts; grandchildren, Benjamin (Miriam) Degidio, Colin, Eli, and Dylan Krueger, and Justin, Kate, and Greta Krueger; step-grandchildren, Gabriel LeBlond, Jesse, Matthew, Michael, and Anna Zarletti, and Lillian Betts; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; sister-in-law, Ellen Krueger; and aunt, Mildred Lemke. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Thomas and Benjamin Richard Krueger; sister, Beverly Farnsworth; wife, Marily Krueger; grandson, Noah Degidio; nephew, Benjamin Richard Krueger; and niece, Michelle Orchard.
Gerald’s visitation (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and Service of Memorial and Thanksgiving (1:00 p.m.) will take place on Sunday, October 15 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Newville - W8496 Parsonage Lane, Waterloo, Wis.), followed by a luncheon and gathering. Later this year, there will be a Military Recognition Ceremony at the United States National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, which will serve as his final resting place.
The family asks that instead of flowers, please consider memorial contributions in his honor to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Kingdom Workers Fund, Martin Luther College Scholarship Fund, or the Alzheimer’s Association.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Krueger, please visit Tribute Store