Lily Kruse

Lily Kruse, age 97, of Philip, S.D., formerly of Interior, died Wednesday, September 14, 2011, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.

Lily Pearl Hanson was born July 13, 1914, the sixth of seven children born to Olaf Krum and Petrina (Olson) Hanson, on her parents' homestead on Ash Creek near Dowling. She grew up in the Dowling area attending the Hanson Rural School before attending Philip High School, graduating in 1931. She then obtained her teacher's certificate and taught two years of rural school at Pedro and Seven Springs. It was at that time that she met Walter Kruse.

Lily saved her money from teaching and attended Nettleton Business College. After completing school, she worked at Sioux Falls Book and Stationery, and later for the IRS in Aberdeen. In 1939, Lily ventured by herself to attend the World's Fair in New York.

Lily was united in marriage to Walter W. Kruse on April 11, 1942, in Chicago where they continued to live until Walter was drafted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Later, she and their young son, Dick, joined him where he was stationed in Herrington, Kan. After Walt's honorable discharge in 1945, they settled on a farm/ranch west of Interior, where two daughters joined the family. When their youngest child started school, Lily started working at the Badlands National Park and continued working there for 18 years.

Family was her pride and joy. She and Walt drove many miles to make sure their children and friends could participate in school and community activities.

She opened her home to her extended family, too. Relatives from far and wide experienced her warm hospitality. Quite a few nephews spent whole summers working the ranch and sitting at her table.

Her husband, Walter, preceded her in death on July 26, 1993. Lily remained at the ranch until 1996, when she moved to Philip to live with her sister, Anna Davis. In 2008, Lily moved into the Silverleaf Assisted Living Center and lived there until April of this year when she moved into the Philip Nursing Home.

Lily was an active member of the Interior Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Women, as well as a member of the Interior Current Events Club for many years.

Lily was a kind and wonderful mother, aunt and sister, and will be missed by all. Survivors include her son, Richard Dean Kruse and his wife, Ramona, of Albuquerque, N.M.; two daughters, Faye Knorr and her husband, Gerard, of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Cindy Kruse and her husband, Brent Harrison, of Henderson, Nev.; four grandchildren, G. Michael Knorr of Novi, Mich., Clayton Knorr of Henderson, Nev., Jessica Kruse and Walter A. Kruse, both of Albuquerque; and a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband, Lily was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, Harry, Oscar, Ingval, Arlo and Hans T. Hanson; and one sister, Anna Davis.

Funeral services were held Saturday, September 17, at the Interior School Gym, with Pastor Kathy Chesney officiating.

Music was provided by Marianne Kruse, pianist, Heidi and Casie Kruse and Charles and Philip Kruse, vocal duets. Readings were given by Casie and Dick Kruse.

Ushers were Ryan, Paul and Chad Kruse. Pallbearers were Daniel, Kevin, David, Walter A. and Roger Kruse, Arthur and Brian Hanson and Ansel Wooden Knife.

Interment was at the Interior Fairview Cemetery.

A memorial has been established.

Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com