Jean Kruger, a longtime Livermore resident, will turn 90 this Sunday. Her story helps give life to the history of Livermore.
She grew up in Iowa during the Great Depression, and then she went to nursing school in 1945 at the tail end of World War II. She got a job at Oak Knoll Hospital in Oakland and then transferred to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Livermore. In 1949, Jean met her future husband, Bud Kruger, at the Livermore Rodeo. A year later, they got married at St. Michael's Church.
"We decided we weren't getting any younger," said Jean Kruger.
For many years after their marriage, they went to the rodeo in remembrance of the day they met. Most years they would head to a bar called Granucci's for the rodeo parade.
"We would sit and have a drink and then drag barstools outside to watch the parade," said Kruger.
Bud and Jean had two children, Maggie and Fred. Bud is now passed away, but Jean has six grandchildren, one great grandchild and a great-great grandchild on the way. Jean has a strong connection to St. Michael's.
She was a physical education teacher and yard supervisor at St. Michael's school in the 1960s. She now attends mass at St. Michael's multiple times per week. She also volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul food bank and the Secret Angel program to help families in need during the holiday season.
"She has done a lot for others, and has been in Livermore for over 65 years," said her granddaughter, Leslie Smith.
Jean still lives in her own home and is very active. She still plays golf, gardens and is an Oakland A's season-ticket holder.
FUNDRAISER UPDATE: In 2012, I wrote about the SwimStrong swim-a-thon fundraiser that raises money for pediatric cancer patients. I am pleased to announce that they met their goal of raising $50,000. They raised $50,143.72, thanks to the swimmers and their sponsors.
The event, in memory of Korrine Lannie Croghan, a Granada High School student who died from cancer, will help give teddy bears, gift bags, iPods, blankets and gift cards to young cancer patients. Some of the money will also go toward helping pay the bills of families with children undergoing cancer treatments. Stay tuned for details of this year's swim-a-thon.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.