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Tyler William KrugerJune 23, 1994 ~ July 1, 2017 (age 23)
Tyler Kruger passed away unexpectedly in South Bend, IN on the morning of Saturday, July 1, 2017. He had just turned 23 years old.
Tyler was born to Heather (Waddell) Kruger of Mishawaka, IN and Robin Kruger of South Bend on June 23, 1994. Tyler was the most beautiful baby. Blessed with big brown eyes, charm, and a smile that brought joy to everyone, he went on to model at a young age. “I like the dancing and donuts at modeling, Mommy,” he would say.
Tyler attended SonShine Preschool (Deer Run Church of Christ), LaSalle Elementary School, John Young Middle School, St. Bavo’s School, and Penn High School, all in Mishawaka. His favorite teacher throughout his education years was Mrs. JoAnne Groendyke—his second grade teacher at LaSalle Elementary. He adored her. Thank you, Mrs. Groendyke.
Tyler’s childhood in Mishawaka was happy and care-free. His younger siblings, Braden, Nicholas, and Kaitlynn Kruger shared countless days of belly laughing, playing in the park, and running to keep up with their big brother.
As a young boy, Tyler loved participating in Taekwondo and Tiger Cubs. He played soccer for MSA and loved playing football. His summers were spent with a multitude of friends, swimming at Mary Gibbard Pool, playing freeze tag at his home, followed by eating food cooked on the grill, and playing all night games of “Spoons.” His friends Layten Binion, Mazerick Downer, and Preston Maxfield were always with him. Other close friends were Lymen Stoneburner, Robby Lungard, Tilar Roth, Steven Kotowsk, and Alexia Britton.
Tyler had a generous and loving heart. In the fifth grade, he began volunteering at Pet Refuge in Mishawaka. Every Saturday, he would work with the dogs—feeding them, taking them on walks, and cleaning out their enclosures. He eventually talked me into fostering puppies. He had a special place in his heart for animals.
His favorite family times were annual trips to Cedar Point and Silver Beach. His trip to Disney World was his favorite. In the cabin, at the Disney Resort, he was most excited because he had his very own television in his room. He even had me take a picture of him next to it. As he grew older, he enjoyed fishing, playing poker, computers games, and watching movies.
Tyler had a smile and kind word for everyone. Many times, even as a young boy, he would study my facial expressions, take my cheeks in both his hands and ask, “Mom, are you happy today?” I would hug him ever so tightly and say, “Yes, Tyler. I love you, and I am happy.”
We read together every night from the time he was infant. I always read the book “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. As the mother’s son continues to grow from baby to man, she rocks him in her arms and sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always; As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
We are heartbroken without you, Tyler. We will love you for always.
Tyler was preceded in death by his maternal Uncle Ian Flanders of LaPorte, IN; grandmother Marian V. Flanders of South Bend; grandfather Ralph Flanders of South Bend; and William H. Waddell of South Bend. On his father’s side, he was preceded in death by Grandfather Ralph Kruger and Grandmother MaryBeth (Balasa) Kruger.
Tyler is survived by his mother, Heather (Waddell) Kruger and his siblings Braden, Nicholas, and Kaitlynn Kruger of Mishawaka. He is also survived by his father Robin Kruger. He is survived by a very special person, Edith Lynn Mathis of South Bend, who was a grandmother figure to him throughout his childhood. He loved her dearly. Tyler’s Great Uncles Emery, Phillip, and David Balasa, Great Aunt Deborah (Flanders) Rogers of Ohio, and maternal grandfather Bill Flanders of Michigan also survive.
A memorial visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Palmer Funeral Home River Park, 2528 Mishawaka Ave., South Bend, IN 46615 from 4:00-7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kruger family in the care of Palmer Funeral Homes. Online condolence may be given at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
For the family c/o Palmer Funeral Home
2528 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend IN 46615