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Robert (Bob) Cruse, age 94, a lifelong resident of Devils Lake, ND, passed away February 1, 2024 in Fargo, ND following a brief illness. Bob had recently moved to Fargo to be closer to his daughters.
Robert was born January 13, 1930 on the farm home of his grandparents in Doyon, ND. He was the third child born to Alfred (Fred) and Catherine (Katie) Yager Cruse. Bob was raised on the family farm and attended school in Doyon. He explained recently that he attended 3rd grade twice as “he wasn’t interested at all”. He graduated from Doyon in 1949 and went on to further education at the North Dakota State School of Science.
In August of 1951, Bob and four of his buddies boarded a troop train bound for Fort Rucker, Alabama. There they would prepare for serving in the Korean War effort. Although not called for active duty, upon returning home he would begin employment at Camp Grafton in Devils Lake working in the heavy equipment maintenance department. While employed with the National Guard, Bob and longtime friend Lloyd Bird would purchase Ed’s Off Sale in Devils Lake. He worked his day job and many evenings and weekends at the bar. Bob would retire from Civil Service in 1987 and from Camp Grafton in 1990 after 36 years of service.
Bob was married to Nelda (Joan) Christianson in 1956. They would later divorce.
After retiring, Bob enjoyed tinkering and would acquire many pieces of small farm and garden tractors and tools. He loved his John Deere’s and was the proud owner of many. If there was a job to do, he had a tractor that would make the job easier. He also put his tools to good use - there was nothing he couldn’t make. He always figured out what was needed and got busy creating it. He thoroughly enjoyed his retirement and would spend his time tending his yard and garden. Bob also loved to travel and would live to make it to all 50 states. He thoroughly enjoyed his annual trips to his brother Neil’s home in Houston, Texas where they would set off for Mexico and some Mardi Gras fun and some fishing.
Bob was a lifelong member of The American Legion, Elks Lodge #1216, Fraternal Order of Eagles and St. Olaf Lutheran Church.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Katie, brother in infancy – Edward, sister Betty and nephews Kirby and Kent Cruse.
Bob’s loving family includes his brother Neil Cruse of Houston, TX, daughters Deborah (Kyle) Zimmerman of Fargo and Vickie Heit, Kindred, sons Kevin Cruse and Scott (Gail) Cruse, both of Devils Lake. Grandchildren include Roberta (Isaac) Green, Robert (Stacy) Zimmerman, Jason (Amanda) Gette, Jorey Heit, Jessica Cruse, Tawny Dahlen and Jamie Spidahl. Great-grandchildren include Madison, Peyton, Carson and Piper Gette, Tanner Cruse, Teagan and Ava Zimmerman, Aubrey and Avery Dahlen.
In lieu of flowers, please support Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Funeral: 1 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024, at West Funeral Home in West Fargo, ND.
Visitation: One hour before the funeral.
Burial: 2 pm Friday, February 9, 2024, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, ND. Military Rites by the American Legion Honor Guard of Mandan and the North Dakota Army National Guard Honors Team.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center