Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger

Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger, age 90, died on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the Pipestone County Hospice House.

Funeral service will be September 22 at 11am at Skandia Evangelical Free Church – Balaton, 722 221st St, Balaton, MN. Internment will be at the First Baptist Church Cemetery of George, IA

Visitation will be September 21st from 4 to 8pm at the Hartquist Funeral Home – Pipestone Chapel, 710 SE 4th St. Pipestone, MN.

Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger was born Hieska to Harm Jelle and Teilke “Tillie” (Boumann) Schneidermann on October 31, 1921 in Simonvolde, Germany. On October 19, 1926, she and her family boarded a ship to New York, New York, landing on November 3, celebrating her fifth birthday on board. The family traveled by train to Chicago and then to George, Iowa to live with her dad’s uncle. She attended country school in Lyon County, Iowa. They moved to a farm east of George, then near Aston, and in 1931 to Rushmore, Minnesota. In March, 1934, they moved to a farm northeast of Ulen, Minnesota. She finished her education at a rural school in District 46 and attended the Walworth Baptist Church.

After completing her education, she helped on the family farm. During World War II, she wrote to a childhood friend, John Kruger. After his discharge from the service, John went to visit Helen and started to court her. On June 1, 1946, they were married in the Walworth Baptist Church parsonage near Ulen. Following their marriage, they lived and farmed south of Rushmore, Minnesota. Two years later, they purchased a farm in Ellsborough Township, southeast of Ruthton, Minnesota. Helen helped her husband with dairy farming while raising their children. In 1967, she helped start the Head Start Program in the Ruthton School where she helped as a teacher’s aide for two years. Then, in 1977 after completing CNA course, she became employed at the Good Samaritan Village in Pipestone where she continued working until 1990.

When they retired from farming in 1993, they moved to Ellsworth, Minnesota. In the summer of 2002, Helen became a resident at Parkview Manor in Ellsworth where she shared a room with her husband. In July, 2003, they transferred to the Good Samaritan Village of Pipestone. On October 6, 2003, her husband preceded her in death. After his death, she continued to reside at the Good Samaritan Communities. In May, 2011, she went under hospice care. In February, 2012, she entered the Pipestone County Hospice House where she died on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the age of 90 years, ten months and 14 days.

For many years, Helen attended Skandia Evangelical Free Church in rural Balaton, Minnesota where she served as a Sunday School teacher, helped with Vacation Bible School, was part of the Women’s Missionary Society, and attended Bible Study classes. She enjoyed going to the Christian Womens Club in Pipestone. After moving to Ellsworth, she was an active member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in George, Iowa. In her younger years, she volunteered as a 4-H leader. She was an active gardener, always having large vegetable and flower gardens. She loved to can much of the produce, especially making pickles of various kinds. African Violets were a passion of hers. She had many varieties and colors filling her house. “Oma” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she spent much time caring and playing with them. She will always be remembered for her banana bread and a ready cup of tea for all. They traveled many times to the West Coast visiting children, and Helen went three times to Germany to visit family.

She is lovingly remembered by her six children, Eldon Kruger and his wife Arlene of Lake Wilson, Minnesota, Karen Strom and her husband Vincent of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Harlan Kruger and his wife Yvonne of Corvallis, Oregon, Teresa Heard and her husband Bob of Ward, South Dakota, Roger Kruger and his special friend Donna Black of Newark, California, and Jon Kruger and his wife Lora of Marshall, Minnesota; 21 grandchildren, 15-3/4 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Lorence Schneidermann, Walter Schneidermann and his wife Mary Ann, and Arthur Schneidermann, all of Ulen, Minnesota; and one daughter-in-law, Natalie Kruger Brouwer and her husband Jim of Manteca, California. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son, Kelvin; her granddaughter, Debra Ann Heard; her parents; five brothers, Jelle Harm, Arend, Jakob Martin, Arnold, and Jakob II; one daughter-in-law, Mitze Kruger; and one sister-in-law, Namtke Schneidermann.