HANCOCK, MN, US
SGT, CO A, 367TH ENGINEER BN, FORT BLISS, TX
03/13/2007, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
On June 11th 1974, Kurt Elmo Kruize was born to Lyle and Beverley Kruize at the Stevens County Memorial Hospital. Kurt comes from a family of 3 siblings which he is the second oldest. He has 2 sisters and one brother. He grew up in a small town in western Minnesota named Hancock. He was very shy, quiet and reserved. While growing up Kurt’s favorite pastimes were fishing, hunting playing basketball and football.
He came from a very small class of just 16 and they were really close with one another. He joined the military when he was 17. He did his basic training at Fort Lee Virginia and AIT at Fort Jackson South Carolina. After Kurt got out of his AIT training he moved to St. Cloud, MN where he met the love of his life Billie Jo. Then in the fall of that year he went on to school to become and auto mechanic following in his father’s footsteps. When he finished with his mechanic training he went to work for his father for a few years. Then he moved back to St. Cloud, MN and in1998 he married Billie Jo. They have 4 children together the oldest being a boy and then 3 girls. Kurt worked for Viking Coke, where he was a forklift driver.
Kurt served in Iraq in 2003 with the 353 Transportation Company stationed out of Buffalo, MN. He was a fuel tank carrier while he served his first tour. Kurt’s second tour started in January 2010, with the 367 Engineer Battalion out of St. Cloud, MN. He died in Baghdad, Iraq on April 4, 2010.
Our brother was full of life and very much dedicated to his family. You could find him playing games with his kids and eating pizza and drinking a Mountain Dew. Any time Kurt would call one of his siblings he would say, “Hey it’s your brother.” Another one of his famous quotes was, “It’s your dime.”
Kurt also was big into Christmas. He was the Chevy Chase in Minnesota. Everything had to have lights and to him the bigger the better. He also loved his mothers Christmas cookies. He would eat dozens at a sitting. Kurt was always the practical jokester in all family pictures we took. He would like to put bunny ears over the people he was standing next to.
Kurt had one huge passion and that was Country music. Everyone who knew Kurt loved him. We are still finding out how many lives he has touched each and every day. Kurt also had a passion for cooking. He did all the cooking for his family meals. He was going to go back to school to become a chef when he got home from Iraq but he never got the chance to pursue his dreams. He will forever be missed by all who knew him and even those who did not.
Tammy Angrimson and Kari Standfuss sisters of Sergeant Kurt E. Kruize