Donald Kruger


Donald Merle Kruger, age 84, passed away peacefully on June 28, 2021. 

Funeral services will be held at the Berean church in Chadron on 4th and Shelton street at 10AM Saturday, July 3rd with burial south of Gordon at Mount Hope cemetery with pastors Justin Schefcik and Jason Gantz officiating. 

Donald M. (Butch) Kruger was born July 18, 1936 to Max and Marie (Budd) Kruger on the Budd ranch in South Dakota along with his twin sister, Donna. They  joined a brother, Max B. 2 years old. The children’s mother passed away in January 1937, leaving 3 children to move back to the ranch  with grandparents, Newton and Mary Budd. They attended Demmer school north of highway 18 through the 8th grade. They were all taught to be honest and work hard, which Don did all his life.

Don entered the United States Army at age 19. He served 1 year of instruction for artillery training. He was there for 2 years, he was in Heildburg, Germany doing much of the same job of artillery. He was discharged at Colorado Springs, Colorado and came back to the ranch in South Dakota where Don Coon, manager of Co-op oil station, talked him into a job there. Don worked at Co-op for 14 years. 

During this time he met and married Ruth Smith of Gordon, NE on September 10, 1961. Together they had 5 kids- Don, Mark, Steven, Laura, and David. The family moved back to the Budd ranch in 1972 where their children grew with the same instruction he had gotten- to be honest and work hard.  The family has now grown to 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. 

Don loved any time spent with his family. He also loved cats, fixing anything and everything that needed it, gardening, watching boxing every Friday night, and westerns! He enjoyed every season, but especially haying season.  He became a born again Christian in September 1981 under Pastor Tom Johnson and was also a board member of his church. Don’s favorite Bible verse was 1 John 1:9 and his favorite hymn was “Amazing Grace.”

Survived by wife Ruth of Chadron, NE, son Don (Tammie) of Bowman, ND, Mark (Kay) of Gordon, NE, Steve (Vickie) Gordon, NE, David (LaTisha) of Rapid City, SD, daughter Laura Kicker of Chadron, NE, twin sister Donna Hotz of Whiteclay, NE, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. 

Don was proceeded in death by his parents, grandparents, brother Max Kruger, sister-in-law Maren (Kruger) Rouse, son-in-law Tim Kicker, and brother-in-law Robert Hotz.