Bettie Lou Burgin Kruse, age 84, passed from this life on January 5th 2021, of COVID-19. Born the youngest of 10 children to Jettie Runner and James Burgin in Bloomfield, Kentucky, Bettie loved her large and extended family and the Bardstown farm. Salutatorian of her 1955 Old Kentucky Home High School graduating class, she completed her education at Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Richard Allen Kruse, and was proud to have been named “Miss Home Economics”. In 1960 they moved to Helsinki, and later, Tampere, Finland.
In 1967, she, Richard, and daughter, Lydia, immigrated to Toronto, where Bettie embraced its multiculturalism and the community of the church. She knew no stranger; they were simply friends she hadn’t yet met. Bettie loved the beauty of nature, especially plants, and learning about different countries and their cultures. Over her life, and especially during the pandemic, she found great joy in exchanging encouraging notes and phone calls with her beloved extended family and friends. To provide more care to her in her sixty-year struggle with bi-polar disorder, she became a resident of St. George Care Community in 2004, where she served as vice-president of its Resident Council. She especially enjoyed sitting outside and admiring the gardens her husband developed there for her pleasure.
Bettie is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Richard Kruse, daughter Lydia Kruse Tietz, son-in-law, Edward Tietz, Jr., granddaughters Janey and Grace Tietz, all of whom she was incredibly proud, her brother, Homer Burgin, and many nieces and nephews.
If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in her honor to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division (cmha.ca), 180 Dundas Street W, Toronto, ON M7A 0A1, Canada, or, if preferred in the US, to the National Association on Mental Illness (nami.org).