Wayne’s dad, Leo Kruger, died Friday. I prepared this obituary.
Leo Henry Kruger, age 93, of Cocoa Beach, Florida, died Friday, May 6, 2016.
He was born April 18, 1923, in Germany to Henry and Olga (Klose) Kruger. He immigrated as an infant with his parents to the United States where they settled in a German-speaking Mennonite community in Philadelphia. Leo learned English when he started school in the Philadelphia public school system.
During the Second World War he was a conscientious objector and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. After the war he earned a Bachelors degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. While working on his Masters degree at the University of Kansas he met fellow student Anne Longsworth whom he married near her parents’ home in Flushing, Queens, New York, on January 29, 1955. They settled first in Berlin, New Hampshire where their eldest daughters were born and later Kendall Park, New Jersey where they raised their four children. Over the years Leo earned advanced degrees in mathematics and computer science in addition to chemistry and, along with his wife, held a doctoral degree. Leo spent most of his career as a research chemist working for the National Starch and Chemical Corporation.
During month-long summer vacations Leo and Anne and their children took long road trips. His mother-in-law’s summer cabin in Estes Park, Colorado was a frequent destination; but no journey in North America was verboten. One summer the family drove from New Jersey to Alaska where they camped in tents protected by mosquito netting. He enjoyed excellent health throughout his life, hiking and walking well into his 80’s. A child of the Depression, Leo was ever thrifty and independent, devising simple home repairs and reusing every object that came into the house. Leo was an avid reader and crossword puzzler which inspired groan-worthy puns and lively conversation. He enjoyed singing in the choir with his daughter Nancy at Sand Hills Presbyterian Church in Kendall Park, New Jersey, where he was a member for over half a century.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Walter Kruger and his sister Marie “Micki” Bourne and, in 2011, by his son Wayne. He is survived by Anne, his wife of 61 years; his daughter Lynn and her husband, Mark LaPorte, also of Cocoa Beach; his daughter Nancy of Cocoa Beach; his daughter Mary and her husband Roldan Leyba of Satellite Beach; his grandchildren Laurel and Charlie Kruger of Denver, Colorado; and his brother-in-law Ralph Longsworth and Ralph’s wife Roberta of Allentown, Pennsylvania, with whom Leo and Anne spent many holidays.
His funeral will be held at 11 am, Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach. There was cremation.