Wendell "Tiny" Kruse, 73, of Le Mars, formerly of Ireton, died Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.
Wendell Louis Kruse was born Dec. 28, 1938, on the family farm in Grant Township, the son of Louis Harm and Maria (Meyer) Kruse. Wendell was baptized and confirmed at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Preston Township, rural Akron. He attended country school at Grant #9 School and later graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1957. He served his country in the United States Army from 1961 to 1963.
Tiny was united in marriage to Jolene Herwynen on May 6, 1959 at the Ireton United Methodist Church. Jolene passed away suddenly on March 10, 2002.
Tiny had worked for Siouxland Propane for more than 45 years, retiring in July 2003. He had worked as a mechanic, service department, and as a propane delivery man for the last several years of his career.
Tiny and Kate moved to Le Mars in October of 2004. Through the years Tiny enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Canada.
He had been a longtime member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Preston Township, where he held numerous church positions and volunteered wherever he could. After he and Kate married, Tiny became a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Brunsville.
He was also a member of the Ireton American Legion Post 276 where he served as Past Adjutant. He also had served on the Ireton City Council for many years.
Tiny got a kick out of telling people that "with two little words, I gained 14 grandchildren!" He called himself "TTS - Tiny's Taxi Service" because he was always "on-call" to chauffeur grandkids around. He loved it.
Though he was "Tiny" to many for years, Tiny had a big, warm heart and was a huge blessing to all who knew him.
Survivors include his wife, Kathleen of Le Mars; two brothers, the Rev. Alfred Kruse and his wife, Jane, of Washington, Iowa, and Ralph Kruse and his wife, Charlene, of rural Le Mars; a sister, Elaine McFarland, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; five stepchildren and families: Brett and Vicki Oetken, of Le Mars and their children Sarah, Lindsey, and Nathan, Craig Oetken, of Le Mars and his children Taylor and Cody, Todd and Kathi Oetken, of Le Mars, and their children Tyler, Seth and Riley, Tammy Whalen of Larchwood, and her children, A.J., Dylan, Lydia, and Elena and Karena Lang, of Le Mars, and her children Trevor and Kylee; 14 stepgrandchildren; in-laws: Sarah Herwynen, of Sioux City, and Virginia and Thomas Eilers, of Charlotte, N.C., Larry and Carol Farmer, of Westfield, Richard and Lyla Farmer, of Craig, Peggy Olson, of Le Mars, and Michael Farmer, of Le Mars; step-mother-in-law, Henrietta Farmer, of Le Mars; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis Harm and Maria (Meyer) Kruse; his wife, Jolene on March 10, 2002; two brothers-in-law, Jerry McFarlane and David Herwynen; and his stepfather-in-law, Kenneth Farmer.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, at Christ Lutheran Church, Grant Township, rural Le Mars, with the Rev. Ben Worley officiating. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Friday, at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present after 5 p.m. to greet friends followed a 7 p.m. prayer service, all at the funeral home in Le Mars. Visitation will continue Saturday morning at the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time.
Interment will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Ireton, with military honors provided by the Ireton Bertram American Legion Post #276 following the funeral lunch. Following the funeral service a luncheon will be held at the Brunsville American Legion.
Pallbearers will be Brett Oetken, Craig Oetken, Todd Oetken, Jay Eilers, Mike Jacobsen, and Gregg Vreeman.
Memorials may be directed to Tiny's favorite cause, Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp. Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.