Cover photo for Jerry Kruger's Obituary
1942 Jerry Ray Kruger 2024

Jerry Kruger

August 30, 1942 — April 28, 2024

Hudson, WI

Jerry R. Kruger

August 30, 1942 - April 28, 2024


Jerry Ray Kruger, a kind and truly loved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, died on the morning of April 28th with hands held by family at his home in Hudson, Wisconsin. Jerry was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1942 to Glen and Alice (Christopherson) Kruger, siblings Irma (Mueller) Wright, Allen Kruger, and Joan (Kruger) Jarvis. As a young boy, he had a large paper route and worked at Roy Brown's Standard Station on Water Street in Eau Claire. He was a member of the Flying Eagles Ski Jumping Club from an early age, and participated in other youth sports. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1960. Jerry met the love of his life, Jo, and they married in 1965 while attending the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. He graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Chemistry. Jerry's service to his country started when he entered the US Navy flight school program. They were based in Florida, Texas, Maine and Maryland. He spent his Naval Reserve years in Nashua, New Hampshire. Jerry and Jo were blessed with four children along their journey: Karin, Patricia, Brit and Steve. He was also a proud grandfather to Lydia, Frankie, Samuel, Adelaide and Van.


Jerry was a true Wisconsin boy and returned here with his family in 1987. He enjoyed Brewers games on the radio, and Sunday ups and downs with the Packers. He coached baseball for his kids, attended all of their games and school productions. Being a father of 4 and a grandad of 5, Jerry was proud of each and every one of them. He was always there to support and guide us along the way. He kept his garage immaculate, his cars as if they just drove off the lot and cringed when someone drove off the driveway onto his pristine lawn. He was a fine carpenter, measuring twice and always making the perfect joinery. He found golf in his retirement years, and had tall tales of the walleye that got away, as well as the white tail that was just too perfect to take down. He walked like he had somewhere to be and always knew enough to come out of the rain. Life had hard choices, but he never looked back with any regret. He had strong hands and a soft heart. When choosing between being right and being kind, he chose kindness.


He had a prestigious career as a Naval Aviator, Eastern Airlines Captain, Federal Aviation Administration Check Airman/Inspector, Kalitta Air Corporate Captain, and US FAA Flight Instructor. Jerry flew some of the largest airplanes ever made to every corner of the globe. His travels in the air and across the world never affected his down to earth nature. He was a wonderfully humble, sweet and caring man - truly dedicated to his family and friends.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Glen and Alice Kruger, sister Irma Wright, brothers-in-law LaVerne Wright, Eugene Jarvis, and grandson Owen Spencer. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Jo Ann Kruger; siblings: Allen (Helen) Kruger and Joan Jarvis, his children: Karin (Steve) Spencer, Tricia (Michael) Griffith, Brit (Rudi) Lusa, and Steve (Afton Hakes) Kruger; grandchildren: Lydia Spencer, Sam Spencer, Frankie Lusa, Adelaide Lusa, and Van Kruger; and his devoted black lab Grace.


Service Information:

A Memorial Service will be on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 11:00 a.m, with a visitation at 10:00 a.m. at Ascension Episcopal Church, 214 3rd Street North, Stillwater, Minnesota 55082. A brief Military Honors Ceremony will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at 2:15 p.m.


In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred. Jerry donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Cancer Research Institute.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Kruger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Visitation

Thursday, May 23, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Ascension Episcopal Church - Stillwater

214 3rd St N, Stillwater, MN 55082

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Memorial Service

Thursday, May 23, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Ascension Episcopal Church - Stillwater

214 3rd St N, Stillwater, MN 55082

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Military Honors

Thursday, May 23, 2024

2:15 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

7601 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55450

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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