Obituary: Peggy Jo Kruse Jan. 8, 2020

PEGGY JO KRUSE Jan. 8, 2020

Peggy Jo Kruse passed away at the age of 85 in her home on January 8, 2020, at the end of a beautiful life.

Peggy Jo, or Peggy “Go” as she joked, was born to Marie (Felts) and Leo Randolph and raised in Portales, NM where she was described by her childhood friend, Ray Ann as being “a friend to all, a leader who had an eye out for those who might be left behind.” 

She graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a degree in elementary education and began teaching at age 19 in a “secret city on the hill,” where she would live for the next 7 decades.

Not long after moving to Los Alamos, she married Herald Kruse, the quiet physics grad student and church organist from the crowded young adult group at the Methodist Church. There, they would find many of their lifelong friends and devote over 60 years to the music of the Chancel Choir.

Herald would often say she made up for his normally speechless state; none would disagree. Together they nurtured a family with two daughters and beloved relatives who relocated to the Los Alamos area.

Professionally, Peggy’s 45-year career in the Los Alamos Public Schools was an outgrowth of her genuine love of children. She began as a first-grade teacher at Aspen School. After earning her master’s degree in guidance and counseling, she became the district’s first elementary school counselor, traveling between each district elementary school. Later, as director of pupil personnel services, she led the statewide effort to implement gifted education programs. She retired in 1995 as principal of Pinon Elementary School. She was also active in local boards and chorales, the LA Family Council and her treasured PEO sisterhood.

Over the last 20 years, Peggy Jo lived with Alzheimer’s disease. Herald, with infinite patience was her steady guide. Thanks to the many friends and strangers who patiently listened to charming but recycled stories and questions as she attempted to connect with the people around her. Her dinner prayer, “that we be, Lord, as good as we can possibly be,” was answered in the love she expressed to those around her with all the means she had available: a wink, a gentle kiss, a melt-your-heart smile.

She is survived by her husband Herald Wesley Kruse with whom she recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary; daughters DeAnna Kruse ( Cliff Reed ) of  Embudo; Karen Kruse (Jane Donegan) of Portland; her sister-in-law, Nadean Kruse of Denver; grandson Joseph Johnson (Keira); great-grand-daughter, Rebecca Louise Johnson of Coeur D’Alene and dear cousins Jackie and Jenny (Cooper) and Steve Mitchell.

Countless thanks to those who supported Herald and Peggy over the years: the LA Senior Center Day Out, LAVN, medical staff, the Methodist Church family and her dear “girl friends” of late: Doreen, Elly, Ericka, Feng and Lucy.

Her service will be held on Saturday, February 1st at 1:30pm at the First United Methodist Church in Los Alamos, NM with a reception to follow at Fuller Lodge.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are welcome in Peggy’s name to the First United Methodist Church, LA Family Council or the Alzheimer’s Association.

And to her friends and family who will miss her so deeply, remember what she said on a random Tuesday afternoon, wearing lipstick and turquoise, “Life is short, better enjoy every minute of it!”