NORTH EASTON, Mass. — Father Robert J. Kruse, C.S.C., of the Congregation of Holy Cross, died Dec. 29, 2015, at Stonehill College in North Easton. Father Kruse was a religious studies scholar and a counselor to the president of Stonehill College. He was 83, born Nov. 15, 1932.
After completing doctoral studies in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Father Kruse joined the Religious Studies Department at Stonehill in 1961 and went on to chair the department. In 1978, he became the college’s academic dean, a position he held until 1987 when he was appointed executive vice president, a position he held until 2001. Father Kruse was a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century religious thought. A thoughtful, Spiritual man, he loved to read, garden and walk.
Father Kruse devoted his life to the service of Stonehill and played an instrumental role in its growth as a Catholic liberal arts college. During its golden anniversary in 1998-99, the college presented Father Kruse with its Moreau Medallion in recognition of his critical role in Stonehill’s first 50 years.
Born in Indianapolis, Ind., Father Kruse grew up in Indiana, Missouri, and New York, and came to Stonehill as a young seminarian in the early 1950s when the college was still in its infancy. A philosophy major, he graduated from Stonehill in 1955. Father Kruse was first received by the Congregation of Holy Cross on Aug. 15, 1950, made his first profession of vows on Aug. 16, 1951, made his final vows on Aug. 16, 1954 and was ordained as a priest on Nov. 30, 1958.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Robert James Kruse and Dorothy (Oliger) Kruse. Father Kruse is survived by his brother Keith of Mansfield, and by three nieces, Kathy Murray of Billerica, Valerie Scott of Blandon, Penn., Roberta Kruse of Warwick, N.Y., and a nephew, Casey Kruse of Ardsley, N.Y. He is also survived by his adopted family Thon Chen and his wife Sophak Pek, of Lynn.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated January 6 at the Chapel of Mary at Stonehill. Burial followed in the Holy Cross Cemetery on the college campus. Kane Funeral Home, Easton, was in charge of the arrangements.
Gifts can be made in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross via: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556-0765 or online at donate.holycrossusa.org.