Barbara Kruse

Barbara M. Kruse

Sunday, April 29th, 1928 - Friday, August 23rd, 2019
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Barbara M. Bray McFarlane Kruse, 91, passed away on August 23, 2019, and was blessed with a remarkable and long life. Visitation will be from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Friday, August 30, 2019, at St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
She wanted all to know that her parents and all four grandparents were born in Dubuque. That progeny, plus her birthdate of April 29, 1928, make her an “Olde Dubuquer!” Although her passing is a terrible loss to the Dubuque community, she was truly an inspiration to her dear friends and generations of family members. Her memory continues in those she interacted with through her nursing, teaching, volunteering, and social activities.
Barb’s six children were born to her and her first husband, Dr Donald J McFarlane: Kevin (Connie) McFarlane of Anchorage Alaska, Kathleen (Edward) Zwirko of Tucson, Arizona, Stephen (Sheila) McFarlane of Scottsdale, Arizona, Peter (Jane) McFarlane of Fredericksburg, Texas, Molly (Dr. Michael) Dalton of Dubuque and their children, Dr. Stephanie, Jenny, and Sarah; and Dr. Jeffrey (Beth) McFarlane of Shawano, Wisconsin and their children, Erin, Lindsey, and Colleen. She is also survived by her sister Marianne (Carl) Haupert; two sisters-in-law, Gwenn Bray of Waukon, Iowa; and Elizabeth Bray of Dubuque.
In 1981 she was joined in marriage to William G. “Bill” Kruse. He preceded her in death in 2012. She also joins in Heaven those family members who have patiently awaited their reunion; her infant son Michael; her parents Louis and Dorothy Bray; and two brothers, Louis and John Bray.
Barb attended grade school at Nativity and high school at the Visitation Academy, Dubuque, Iowa, graduating in 1946. After one year at Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois, she entered nurse’s training at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, graduating with an RN degree in 1950. She furthered her education by graduating from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois with a BSN degree in 1951.
Professionally, she worked as an RN at Mercy Hospital from 1950 to 1951; in OR at Huron Road Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio from 1951 to 1952; and then returned to the OR at Mercy from 1974 to 1984. Her personal interests included lifelong sports-related activities: swimming, snow skiing, tennis, boating, water skiing, biking, and hiking. She also enjoyed sewing, crafts, playing bridge, and she was a ferocious euchre player.
She devoted her time to many area professional and charity organizations. She was a past member of the American Operating Room Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and the Iowa Nurses Association. She was a member of the St Joseph the Worker Catholic Church of Dubuque and its Alter & Rosary Society. She was also a member of the Arch Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. For her civic activities she was a member of the Dubuque Chapter of the American Red Cross and its Volunteer Program, teaching swimming classes for special needs people for 45 years. She was a past president of the American Red Cross Water Safety committee. She held offices in the Visitation Alumnae Association and the Rosary College Alumnae Association. She served on the Heritage Trail Executive Committee, the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra Senior Board, the Visiting Nurse Association Board of directors, and the Key Home Care Board of Directors. She is a lifelong member of the Dubuque Golf and Country Club and the Sunshine Circle of Finley Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, a Barbara M. Kruse Memorial Fund has been established.
For further information, or to leave an online condolence, please visit
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Bethany Home, and the doctors, nurses and staff at Mercy One for their loving care.
“A life that touches others goes on forever.”
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Glinda Manternach

Posted at 01:40pm
Barb was indeed a remarkable woman. Blessed to have known her. Prayers to all her family. Glinda Manternach

Bryan Pechous

Posted at 08:52am
I won't be able to attend Barb's services this weekend because of out of town travel and I'm sad that I won't be able to see some of you family members I haven't seen for years. Barb's passing is sad, but I will always remember her as a courageous woman and an inspiration to those around her. She was a very proud Mom of all you children and I was able to keep up with the news of all of you over the years via her reports. I will always have fond memories of my summer stay at the cabin in Wisconsin with Steve and most of the rest of you kids. I hope you all can take comfort in the fact that Barb lived a long and generous life and that she will be fondly remembered by all of us who knew her. Bryan Pechous

The Spahn family

Posted at 01:16pm
Our most heartfelt condolences on your loss
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 10:30am
With deepest sympathies. Much love, Gayle Frommelt and Seth Temin
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