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Obituary for Robert "Bob" Kruger

To view a live stream of Bob's funeral, please visit Thank you. Robert “Bob” Kruger, 95, formerly of Stoddard, passed away peacefully, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. He was born March 31, 1925, to John and Louise (Vogel) Kruger. The family resided at the Steenson’s Mill, just outside West Salem. Bob’s father operated the mill until 1938 when the mill closed. The family then moved to a home on 14 th and Cass St., in La Crosse. Bob had attended West Salem schools until 1938 and then Central High School in La Crosse, graduating in 1942. In 1943, Bob joined the Army Air Corps (which later became the Air Force). After much training and attending many flight schools, he became a Bombardier-Navigator on a B-26. He flew 21 missions in Europe. He was awarded multiple medals for his service. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1946. Bob then joined the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Major in 1988. On July 20, 1946, Bob married Colleen Golding, (his blue-eyed fox). They resided in La Crosse until 1954 when they bought their home along the Mississippi in Stoddard. They raised four children there; making many beautiful memories together. Colleen preceded Bob in death in 2011. He lived in his own home until 2018, when he moved to Brookdale Assisted Living. He then moved to Hearten House 1 in La Crosse in March of 2020, due to his memory decline. Bob had wonderful memories of his childhood in West Salem. Some might consider his to have been an almost idyllic life. He and his older siblings were raised by very loving parents and his affection for them was very evident when he spoke of them. In 1946, Bob started working at Trane Company in La Crosse. He retired a Senior Manufacturing Engineer in 1986. He then worked at Altec in La Crosse, retiring as senior manufacturing Engineer in 1988. Bob was very well respected by both companies. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, (especially the annual opening weekend of trout fishing with the Kruger boys), gardening, and golfing. He had bowled for a number of years on a Trane Company league. Bob was a member of the Stoddard American Legion Post 315, a charter member of the Stoddard Lions Club, council member at his beloved church, St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Stoddard, a member of the Air Force Reserves Officers Club, Wisconsin Military Alliance, the B-26 American Flyers Memorial in England, the Trane Company 25 Year Club, the Trane Key-Man Club, and also served on the school board. He and Colleen traveled to Europe for their 25 th anniversary. They were “snowbirds” in Arizona for many years. Bob and Colleen attended many of the 17 th Bomb Group reunions that were held in various locations across the United States. In addition to his wife, Colleen, Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Bernie (Dorothy) and Donald; his sister, Helen (Rudy) Hulberg; his daughter, Maureen Steinke in 2014; and his very special granddaughter, Alison Steinke in 2020. Survivors include his daughter, Patricia McGuire; sons, Brian (Leanne) Kruger and Mark (Jane) Kruger; son-in-law, Daryl Steinke; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Nichole (Pete) Schnettler and their children, Makenzie, Sawyer, and Annyka; Sara (Brian) Kessler and their children, Emma and Lily; Hans (Jenny) Kruger, Jason (Stacy) Steinke and their children, Alana and Lainey, and Seth (Deanna) Kruger and their children, Wyatt and August Robert; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. The family would like to offer a big thank you to the staff at both Brookdale Assisted Living and Hearten House I for the loving care and companionship they gave Bob. You are all very special people. Also to Pastor Schmitzer, Bob always enjoyed your visits; thank you for your dedication. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 7, 2020, at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Stoddard. Rev. Silas Schmitzer will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors to be rendered by the Stoddard American Legion Post 315 and the United States Air Force Funeral Honor Guard. A visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., Saturday, at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Freedom Honor Flight, one of the highlights of Bob’s Life, or St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Stoddard. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Woodruff Chapel, La Crosse, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at Bob was a kind, generous, and loving husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend. We will all cherish our memories of him. He was quite a talker and shared many stories of his life experiences. Dad, your “long story short” was never short and now it continues with the next chapter. We love you and will miss you.