Ambrose August Kruser, 88, of Dubuque passed away at Mercy One Hospital on November 13, 2020 with his daughter Kelly by his side. He was born on November 30th, 1931 in Hazel Green, WI to Frank & Pearl (Loeffelholz) Kruser. Ambrose was one of seven children growing up on a family farm. After graduating from the eighth grade, he helped on the family farm as well as taking jobs on other neighborhood farms to help his parents pay the bills and support the family.
When Ambrose turned 22 years old, he was drafted to serve his country in the United States Army. PFC Ambrose A. Kruser was stationed in Germany from 1953-1955, he served as a Medical Airman in the 547th Army Field Artillery Battalion. During his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), Good Conduct Medal and a Certificate of Proficiency as a Heating Equipment Operator. He reflected on his time in the Army and said many times that he felt bad leaving his mother and the family farm, but those years serving his country were some of the best years of his life.
Ambrose Kruser and Rosemary “Rosie” Loeffelholz were married at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Dickeyville, WI on August 24th 1957. Ambrose and Rosie lived in Dubuque, IA and raised their eight children Karen, Kathy, Kim, Kenny, Kelly, Karla, Kristie and Kerry in the same little Mississippi River house for 63 years. Ambrose worked at the Dubuque Packing Company for 26 years then worked for Merchants Delivery for another 10 years. After retiring, Ambrose enjoyed 26 winters in Yuma, AZ. He had a thirst for knowledge, was an avid reader, loved old country music and walks to check out the Mississippi River. To all who knew him, Ambrose was a stoic, level-headed, salt of the earth and simple man.
Ambrose is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rosemary ”Rosie” Kruser. his children Karen (Patrick) O’Malley, Kathleen Rainey, Kimberly Kruser, Kenneth (Kimberly) Kruser, Kelly Kruser, Karla (Brian) Wolf, Kristie Kruser, Kerry (Daniel) Walker, 8 grandchildren Aaron, Sarah (Steve), Todd, Nicole (Todd), Derrick, Justin, Kayla, Kyle, 8 great-grandchildren Addisyn, Riley, Chandler, Kaleb, Dakota, Florence, Nolan, Graham, his sister Rose Mary (Moore), brothers Merlin and Robert, brother-in-law Mike (Ann) Loeffelholz, brother-in-law Gabe (Joyce) Loeffelholz, sister-in-law Clari (Joe) McDermott and many nieces and nephews. Ambrose is preceded in death by his parents Frank & Pearl, his father-in-law and mother-in-law Peter and Edna Loeffelholz, his sister Doris, brothers Alan and Tom, brothers-in-law Robert Moore and Vernon Bastian, sisters-in-law Elaine and Shirley Kruser, Pauline Bastian, nieces Charlene Finger and Brenda Villarreal.
The family would like to thank Jon Baker, Marvin Ney and the doctors, nurses and all the staff at Mercy One Hospital. Also, to all the family and friends that prayed for us. A special thanks to our sister Kim Kruser for being there in Arizona for Dad the past 8 years. In honor of Ambrose’s wishes, no public visitation or service will be held. His family will celebrate his spirit and graveside military honors for him at a later date.
Ambrose was featured in a local newsletter during his time in Arizona. We have included the article in this tribute, so we could share more of his life in his words.
Meet the RV’er – Cruisin’ Cruiser
January 15, 2010
If you were a GI in post-war Germany, you could have seen Ambrose Kruser step out of a military aircraft on Thanksgiving Day in 1954 when he began a 9-month posting. He was assigned to functions involving the demobilization and return of U.S. Soldiers. Following his return from Germany, Ambrose worked for a packing company in Dubuque, IA until it shut down in 1982. Afterwards, the trucker’s life beckoned. For the next ten years he drove rigs in Eastern, IA, transporting all types of cargo. As he puts it, “I delivered everything but babies.” Fortunately, someone else was covering that angle since by this time he had become the father of seven daughters and one son. After retiring, he found his way to the Senator Wash LTVA in 1994 and has been a regular winter visitor since then. He routinely sets up his rig on the Mesa, just north of the now-paved road. If you have any trouble finding him, look for the Shasta travel trailer, the black Suburban, the adjacent toy hauler, the quad, the motorcycle, the assortment of items in various stages of being dismantled or assembled, and, of course, the panel of philosophers with the generous hand waves as you drive by. Initially as tail gunner and later as trail leader. Ambrose has been involved in organizing the weekly Thursday hikes for about 14 years. On his second visit to the LTVA, and in spite of being told “you are nuts!” by his buddies, he established an unconventional golf course on the South Mesa. The facility now has 14 holes and one can regularly spot as many as 10 players exercising their skills on the lunar fairways. If you’re on the BLM hiking circuit, he has probably guided you through the washes and canyons of the surrounding desert, sharing savory anecdotes along the trail. If you prefer to sit back and engage in jovial verbal exchanges on past unverifiable hunting exploits, the disassembling of truck motors, or the resolving of current geo-political matters, you can occupy one of the many folding chairs permanently set out in the front of his rig. You will find no shortage of wise philosophers who regularly drop by with expert contributions on such matters. Ambrose also enjoys the Sunday jam sessions at the gravel pit. If during a “train song” you hear a lonely whistle, you can be sure he’s hiding close by with his wooden flute. Ambrose also monitors the Wilderness Area for the BLM riding either his motorcycle or his ATV. His duties include enforcing rules and regulations, taking statistics on vehicles in the area ensuring washouts are reported and repaired, and reinstalling fallen signs. Oh, and if Ambrose if ever meets you in the Wilderness Area, you better be on foot, or on horseback, or you will be in trouble.
To the king of the road we love you ...happy trails to you until we meet again....
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