Milan James Kruse

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July 19, 1953 ~ May 29, 2022

Milan J. Kruse, 68, Brookings, SD, died unexpectedly at his home, on Sunday, May 29, 2022.

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

A live stream of the service is accessible by this link:

Milan was born to Helen (Bodde) and Peter H. Kruse on July 19, 1953.  He grew up in Toronto, SD, the youngest of five children. He attended First Baptist Church with his family in White, SD.

Milan attended grade school in Toronto and graduated from Deubrook HS in 1971.  During his boyhood, he helped his father in his feed grinding business, and as a teen, worked on area farms in the summer, baling hay and other chores.

After graduation, Milan joined the Air Force and served for four years.  He loaded bombs into B52 airplanes while serving in Thailand and completed his service in Florida.

Returning home, he bought a truck and began working for Thompson Brothers, Inc. (TBI).  He drove for many years, including a mail run from Sioux Falls to Seattle, during the latter part of his trucking career.  TBI recognized Milan with multiple Safe Driver awards.

Milan married Jo Anne L. Burns, on May 22, 1982, at the First Lutheran Church, of Volga, SD.  Milan, Jo Anne, and her daughter, Danielle, whom Milan adopted (becoming an instantly fantastic father), formed their family living in his home in Toronto.  After Danielle’s high school graduation, he and Jo moved to Brookings, SD.

Milan and Jo loved jazz and attended concerts and Jazz Fest in Sioux Falls for many years.  He also was an avid biker and became a member of a local bicycling club.  The bikers and their spouses enjoyed many road trips and weekly gatherings for pizza and beer.  Milan often found himself alone on his days off with his trucking schedule.  He developed a wide variety of hobbies from woodworking to breadmaking.  His love of cars had him purchasing his own 1999 Mustang.  This allowed them time to cruise and show off the Mustang (and win awards) at several car shows.

After his years of driving truck, Milan decided to try some other employment.  He worked for a time in the custodial department at SDSU’s Student Union and then joined the night shift at Counterpart, until his retirement.  During retirement, Milan worked part-time as a groundskeeper for Western Estates, where their home was located.  He also loved his daily gatherings with a group of friends as they enjoyed coffee at Chocolatte’s.

Milan is survived by his daughter, Danielle (Brett) Karber; grandsons, Nick (Jenna) Karber, Corey (Cara) Karber, and Nathan (Danielle) Karber; siblings, Dale (Netah) Kruse, Carol O’Block, and Leroy (Belinda) Kruse; and many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren; also having shared in his life are sisters-in-law, Katherine (Fred) Prahl, and Barbara (Richard) Tarp; as well as many co-workers, friends, and neighbors.

Milan was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Marvin Kruse. 

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