Born Jean Marie Kinsella in 1923 in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Jean Kruger passed away at the “young” age of 96 years old on March 28, 2019. One of five children in the Kinsella family, growing up in the Great Depression, she lived her life full of perseverance, love of God, optimism, dedication to family and friends, a passion for sports of all kinds, and a kind heart and soul. After graduating from high school, she attended nursing school at St. Vincent Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. She moved to Oakland, Calif., in 1945 to work at Oak Knoll Hospital, and soon thereafter transferred to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Livermore. She met her husband Leslie “Bud” Kruger in 1949 at the Livermore Rodeo and they married a year later. Jean and Bud built a home in Livermore in 1952 where they raised their two children, Fred and Maggie.
That is where Jean would call home for over 67 years.
Jean dedicated much of her time to volunteering in the community through St. Michael Catholic Church and School as the physical education teacher and yard duty supervisor, and through teaching catechism. Even after her children were grown, she continued with these volunteer efforts at the church and school but she also volunteered with St.Vincent de Paul Food Locker and help desk, helped with the Secret Angel program to deliver Christmas presents to children in need, and was a member of the Catholic Parish Altar Society. She worshipped faithfully and had a deep relationship with God.
Jean was a loyal fan of the 49ers and the A’s, bowled with the “Bowling Bells Bowling League,” played golf into her mid- 80s, and was known to play bridge until well after midnight with friends. We attribute her longevity and zest for life to one of her favorite sayings, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” which is why she set her alarm clock for 6 a.m. every morning and woke with the birds.
Jean is preceded in death by her husband Leslie “Bud” Kruger who passed in 1977. Jean is survived by her beloved kitty Dolce, her brother Frank and family, and children Fred (Michelle) and Maggie (Vic). Jean also has six grandchildren: Amanda (Randy), Brandan (Briana), Travis, Leslie (Ryan), Breanna, and Taylor; and four great-grandchildren: McKenna, Bailee, Gianna and Alden.
Services are as follows: Viewing on Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m., at Callahan Mortuary with Rosary following at 3 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Parish with graveside to follow; Reception at Bothwell Art Center located at 2466 8th Street in Livermore following graveside services. Donations may be sent to SVDP Livermore Conference (St. Vincent de Paul) at 458 Maple Street, Livermore, CA 94550.
Callaghan Mortuary is honored to be serving the Kruger family. An online guestbook is available for condolences at www.callaghanmortuary.com.