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Bettylue J. "Betty" Kruse

Bettylue Johanna "Betty" Kruse, age 86, of Scenic, S.D., died Tuesday, March 22, 2011, at her home.

Bettylue Johanna Kruse was born in Scranton, N.D., on May 16 1924, daughter of Louis and Mary (Karcher) Hammer. As a young child the family moved to Lead, S.D., where she graduated from high school. She was active in the chorus and drama clubs.

Upon graduating from high school in 1942, she went to Washington, D.C., to help the war effort by taking shorthand for the Defense Department. It was there where she joined the Washington, D.C., choir. She then moved back to Rapid City in 1945 where she was the secretary for the city mayor. In the spring of 1948, she met Lawrence Kruse at a dinner party in Rapid City; they were married on December 18, 1948. The couple honeymooned in California and in the spring of 1949 came back to the Badlands to help after the blizzard of 1949. Lawrence and Betty made their home in the Badlands next to his brother, Walt and Lily Kruse.

In 1963, they built their new home on a plateau which is now known as Circle View Guest Ranch. Betty loved music and had a beautiful voice. She sang at many local events and was active in the Evangelical Free Church of Wall, Community Church of Interior and The Badlands Gideon Camp. Betty was secretary of Cain Creek Grazing Association for many years.

Grateful for having shared her life is her husband of 62 years, Lawrence. Together they had nine children, Roger and Cheryl Kruse of Rock Springs, Wyo., Kevin and Joanne Kruse of Interior, David and Marianne Kruse of Interior, Robert and Lois Zibell of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Sylvan Kruse of Kadoka, Charles and Beth Kruse of Interior, Daniel and Heidi Kruse of Interior, and Philip and Amy Kruse of Interior. Betty has 22 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one brother, Bill Hammer of Clinton, Mont.

She was preceded in death by one son, Raymond Caroll Kruse in 1954; her sister, Katherine Bauman; and her parents, Louis and Mary Hammer.

Funeral services were held Thursday, March 24, at the Interior Community Church with Pastor Bill Auckamp officiating.

Music was provided by Trina Breck, pianist, and Andrea Barber, vocalist.

Pallbearers were Roger, Kevin, David, Charles, Daniel and Philip Kruse. Honorary pallbearers were all of Betty's grandchildren.

Interment was at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Quinn.

A memorial is established.

Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com