Mary Alice Kruse of Oakdale, California, passed away on March 7, 2016 at the age of 78. Mary was born on June 19, 1937 in Mountain View, Oklahoma. Her parents Henry Renford Young and Willie Ray Young (Youngblood) moved with Mary from Mountain View Oklahoma to Modesto California when she was four years old with the prospect of a Mediterranean climate. Her brothers Claude, Henry, David, Bob and Mark were already established adults. Being the youngest and only girl had its advantages growing up, imagine what you could get away with. All of her brothers had MBA’s, PHD’s and BA’s. Mary, however, preferred music. Dedication turned to first violin for three years. Graduated high school at 16 years old and enjoyed being a secretary of medical transcription for 10 years, enjoyed friendship and looking for the man of her dreams. At the age of 24 married Ewald Kruse, enjoying travel and learning how a sense of humor in companionship is invaluable, dream is realized. Three years later started a family and had three children Anita, Fred and Eric. Mary enjoyed being a stay at home mom. Very involved in education which included volunteering in school, 4-H, Academic Decathlon, STEP Program, Modesto City Schools Advisory Committee, Fine Arts Steering Team, Showcase of Talent, field day proctor and Kids for College TA. Learned the field of almond farming. Involvement in youth soccer, the coach did not show, so then added soccer coach to her resume.
When the children were older enjoyed writing for the Oakdale Leader newspaper and worked as an office manager for a roofing company in Alameda California. After the company closed, worked for Capital Pacific Mortgage Company on a temporary basis and then was promoted to Human Resource Specialist. Wonderful friendships were found. Dance classes were enjoyed with the hard work paying off in a Modesto Junior College performance, with the dance group receiving a standing ovation for “One” from a chorus line. Mary enjoyed earning her AA degree from Modesto Junior College. As an avid learner, she enjoyed history, archeology, ornamental horticulture, speech, meteorology, physics, art history and geology. However math was not included as favorite, especially word math problems involving broken cookies. Enjoyed painting, gardening, photography, tennis, genealogy, cooking, sewing and traveling to Half Moon Bay California and Avila Beach California. Her favorite art medium used oil based paints and pastels, cerulean blue being a favorite color. Roses were her specialty, First Prize variety being her favorite fragrance and a Double Delight for blooms. Would be easily found with her favorite camera capturing the magic of the moment. Genealogy was endlessly fascinating, including the history of surnames. Her cabbage rolls were well known. Could cook at the tip of a hat with a plentiful supply of eager diners. Traveling included learning about the local population and enjoying local architecture.
Mary will be loved and missed by her daughter Anita; sons Fred and Eric, and many wonderful relatives. This is a loss unimaginable with our hearts filled with grief. To have Mary in your life, was a value that held no limits of measurement. Intelligent, articulate, beautiful, compassionate, true understanding of all and a deep love to everyone who enjoyed the gift of sharing her path in life.
She is preceded in death by her husband Ewald Kruse; brothers Claude Young, Henry David Young, Bob Young and Mark Young; father Henry Renford Young and mother Willie Ray Young (Youngblood). Chapel services to be held Wednesday, March 16 at Franklin and Downs McHenry location at 11 a.m. with a celebration of life to follow. A private graveside service is to be held at Acacia Memorial Park at 2 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Franklin & Downs McHenry Chapel.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
March 16, 2016