Cover photo for Steven Ray Kruse's Obituary
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1954 Steven 2024

Steven Ray Kruse

November 19, 1954 — February 5, 2024

Elk Grove, CA

Steven “Steve” Ray Kruse passed away at his home on Monday, February 5, 2024. He was 69 years old. Steve was born in Fontana, California on November 19, 1954, to the late Kobey and Rosella Kruse. Steve is survived by his wife, Cheryl; his brother Lonnie Kruse (Carolyn), and his sister Deborah Kruse; his daughter Alyson Smith (Dan), his son Kyle Kruse, his step-son Jason Steel (Adrianna), and his step-daughter Stefanie Chua (Israel); his grandchildren Addison, Emmalyn, Hunter, Asa, and Veronica; and his nieces and nephews, and their children, Sean Kruse (Shasta), Gabriel, Korbin, and Xander;  Tyler Kruse; and Lacey Kruse (Nathan), and Mia. 
Steve began his career with the California Youth Authority in 1976 as an intermittent Correctional Officer and worked his way to positions including Superintendent, Assistant Deputy Director and Deputy Director.  Steve enjoyed participating in the Police Olympics early on in his law enforcement career. Steve always saw the potential in those around him, and he dedicated his life to helping others and inspiring change in some of the state’s most troubled youth. Even throughout his retirement, Steve loved to remember and share those experiences he had serving his community with others.  His passion and empathy, mixed with his extreme focus, vision, and dedication contributed to his professional success and is what made him a mentor and friend to so many over his career.  Steve retired from the Department of Juvenile Justice in 2011, whereafter he devoted his days to spending time with his family and helping in his local community, Elk Grove. 
During retirement Steve volunteered his time and energy at Pleasant Grove High School’s study hall, where he provided structure, life advice and nuggets of wisdom to the students that attended. As Steve spent more time depositing his knowledge into the lives of those kids, his weekly visits would often include cookies or some other tasty treat for the students. He was devoted to eating Hershey kisses and chocolate cookies (except during lent) and loved to share that with others. Steve also spent time volunteering for the Neighborhood Advisory Board and the Health Services Advisory Group. He was an avid defender of those on dialysis and would take their concerns to the administration to fight on their behalf. From July of 2013 to July 2014 Steve sat on the Grand Jury, conducting audits on the Sacramento County main jail, the Juvenile Hall and the Boys Ranch. It didn’t matter where Steve was in life, he always had time to help others and to try and make his community a better place.
Steve was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. When not at work or during retirement, you could find him at his children or grandchildren’s sporting events, whether that was as a coach or a fan. During football season you would find him cheering on his Cowboys, whether they won or lost, and trying to turn every grandchild into a Cowboy fan. He was the heart of family gatherings, captivating all with his storytelling and sense of humor. He enjoyed travelling with loved ones, often challenging them to new adventures that made for unforgettable memories. Steve’s unconditional love, guidance, and support, which he extended to all, will be dearly missed. He leaves a lasting legacy of love, laughter and values in his children, grandchildren, and all those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
A Celebration of Steve’s life will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 1:00pm, at the Wackford Community Center, Valley Oak Ballroom, located at 9014 Bruceville Rd., Elk Grove, CA 95758. 


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Saturday, March 16, 2024

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Pacific time)

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