JoAnne Lee Kruse

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January 17, 1947 ~ June 30, 2022

JoAnne Lee Kruse, 75, Brookings, died on June 30, 2022, after a short illness, at the United Living Center, Brookings, SD.  

Memorial Services for JoAnne and Milan will be 2pm, Saturday, September 17, 2022, at First Lutheran Church, in Volga, SD.

A Livestream of the service is accessible by the following link:

JoAnne was born to William E. and Alvina D. (Tieszen) Green on January 17, 1947, in Wyanet, IL, and was soon joined by her sisters Katherine (Kathie) and Barbara (Barbie).

Following the accidental death of her father at age 7, the family moved to Marion, SD, where Jo continued through the sixth grade. 

Her mother Alvina was married to Leonard Knutson in 1959, and the family moved to Volga, SD, where Jo Anne graduated from Sioux Valley HS in 1965 as an honor student.  She continued her education in a two-year Secretarial Science program at South Dakota State University.

For the next several years she made her home in Sioux Falls working a number of secretarial jobs.  Her favorite was working for KISD, a popular rock and roll radio station.

JoAnne met and married James Burns and had her daughter Danielle Marie.  When Jim left his family, Jo was a single mother and moved to Volga, SD, to be closer to family.

Jo met Milan James Kruse, the love of her life, and they married at First Lutheran, Volga, SD, on May 22, 1982.  The couple lived in Toronto, and Danielle graduated from Deubrook HS.  A few years later, Jo and Milan moved to Brookings, SD, where Jo continued as an employee at SDSU working in a number of departments, including the Student Union. Jo retired from the Horticulture Department, with her longtime friend and colleague, Lynda Peterson, after 36 years as an SDSU employee.  For a time following “retirement”, Jo enjoyed working part-time at Sonny’s Trends & Traditions in downtown Brookings.  She also enjoyed working the ticket booth at SDSU sporting events and working state and local elections.

Jo typically only met a person once before they became friends.  She loved dining out and attending jazz concerts with Milan, as well as hanging out weekly for pizza and beer with Milan’s bicycling group.  Because Jo loved shoes, clothing, and jewelry, she was always dressed impeccably for every occasion.

Jo is survived by her daughter, Danielle (Kruse) Karber and son-in-law, Brett Karber, Brandon, SD; grandsons, Nicholas (Jenna) Karber, Haw River, NC; Corey (Cara) Karber, Garretson, SD, Nathan (Danielle) Karber, Sioux Falls; her sisters, Katherine (Fred) Prahl, Lake Poinsett, and Barbara (Richard) Tarp, Sioux Falls; many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and her very best friend, Lynda (Lum) Peterson.

Jo was preceded in death by her husband, Milan; her parents, William Green, Alvina and Leonard Knutson; and niece, Erika (Prahl) Cromwell.

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  • Donovan Carpenter says:

    I will miss JoAnne she was a like a second mom to me while in collage. She would often see me after and introduce herself as my collage mom to others around. I remember Her and Milan would have me come over about everyother week for a home cooked meal which i would never turn down and we would sit and visit for hours.

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