KOKOMO — Stephen Keith Kruse, M.D., 68, passed away peacefully at home Dec. 14, 2021.
He was born Nov. 11, 1953, in Bowman, Indiana to Vernice W.H. and Norma Lee (Craig) Kruse.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife Teresa N. (Farmer) Kruse (m. 1976) and grandparents William T. and Cleda (Sutton) Craig and Paul M. and Sophia (Block) Kruse.
Stephen is survived by his wife Lori A. Fetters; brother Paul W. Kruse, M.D. (Donna); niece and God-daughter Stephanie A. Kruse; daughter Jennifer A. Taylor (Bill); sons Stephen P. Kruse and Jonathan A. Kruse; stepson Devon Fetters, M.D., and stepdaughter Morgan Fetters; grandchildren Will, Drew and Ben Taylor. Additional survivors include his aunt Jane (Craig) Etter and many special cousins, nieces and nephews.
Stephen attended White River Chapel United Methodist Church, Bowman, Indiana. He was baptized in September 1966. He graduated from Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Indiana in 1971. He also attended Indiana University at Bloomington where he graduated with an honors AB degree in Chemistry, also receiving the Phi Beta Kappa award. He then attended Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis, where he received his MD degree, followed by a one-year internship at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana. Finally, he attended Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, where he finished his ophthalmology residency in 1982, becoming a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist.
He initially practiced at Welborn Clinic (Evansville) from 1982-1985, then moved to Kokomo to join Alan Crebo, M.D. at Central Indiana Eye Institute. He was a past president of the Howard County Medical Society and served on various committees at Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo (formerly St. Joseph Hospital), including chief of staff of the surgery department and president of the medical staff. In 2001, he co-founded Cataract and Laser Institute ASC in Kokomo, the first ambulatory surgical center built in Kokomo, where he continued to practice until his death.
Stephen really cherished the friendships he made over the years with the devoted medical professionals, staff, and patients that he called friends.
Stephen was a devoted husband and father, and enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family. He loved woodworking and watching old Western movies, something he had enjoyed doing with his grandfather. He had many other interests including coaching PAL Soccer and little league baseball. He was also very active in the Boy Scouts, including the achievement of Eagle Scout and the God and Country award. He served as Cubmaster for Pack 3511 and Scoutmaster for Troop 519. He also served as a director on the executive committee for the local Boy Scout Council (Sagamore Council) and received the council’s highest award, the Silver Beaver Award. He took immense joy in teaching, leading, and in helping to advance the lives of young people and truly valued the relationships that he developed there.
Stephen was also very interested in genealogy and had extensively researched various lineages of his ancestors, ultimately compiling these findings in several books. Stephen was a proud grandfather and one of the greatest joys of his life was spending time with his three grandchildren Will, Drew, and Ben. He enjoyed attending their baseball and soccer games, going to the movies, always providing a steady supply of donuts, teaching them how to drive the lawn mower, and just being together.
Stephen was a wonderful and generous man with a smile on his face and a joke to share. He was a friend to all he met. His loss is felt immensely and immeasurably.
A visitation celebrating Stephen was from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20. The funeral service is at 10 a.m. Tuesday, at Shirley and Stout Funeral Home and Crematory, Lincoln Road Chapel, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo. The funeral service will also be live-streamed under Stephen’s profile on www.shirleyandstout.com .
Burial and graveside service is at noon EST Wednesday, Dec. 22 at Walnut Hill Cemetery, Petersburg.
In lieu of flowers, donations to either the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association are greatly appreciated. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.