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ROBERT HENRY KRUGGEL - ESSEX JUNCTION - Robert Henry Kruggel, 72, passed away peacefully surrounded by the comfort of his family and friends on Feb. 28, 2013, in Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. Bob was born on Dec. 12, 1940, in Hartford, Conn., to Hildegard (Schmidt) McRuiz and the late Henry Kruggel. He graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas, Texas. From here, he went on to receive his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and then later received his Master's Degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in Palo Alta, Calif. On Feb. 9, 1963, he married Ann Klein while completing his Master's Degree. After receiving his degree, he began a career as an electrical engineer for Bell Labs in Allentown, Pa., where he remained employed from 1963 to the fall of 1967. Shortly thereafter, the move was made from Pennsylvania to Vermont where he was employed as a memory design engineer at IBM until his retirement in 1996. During his career he inspired and challenged many people with his designs and ideas. Also during this time period, he was joined by his two daughters, Michele (in 1967) and Cyndi (in 1971). Following retirement, his restless spirit led him to form a handyman company called The Handyman Can that kept him busy for several years. During this time he was able to indulge in many of his favorite activities such as woodworking, racing his car (Honda S2000), paragliding, model airplanes and fishing. He also did some consulting work with IBM and tested patents for various companies. He continued to challenge the minds in his time as a teacher of engineering classes for Vermont Technical College. He fully retired in 2000. Around this same time, Bob was diagnosed with oral cancer and became reacquainted with a colleague from his years at IBM. This re-found friendship led to Bob joining a men's group in 2008 that included Al Brooks, John Owen and Barry Deliduka. These steadfast and true friends provided much emotional support for Bob through his surgery for oral cancer and recovery thereafter and continued through until his final moments. Bob is survived by his mother, Hildegard (Schmidt) McRuiz of Dallas, Texas; his two sisters, Hildegard Hatter and Karen Spitzer, both of Dallas, Texas; his ex-wife and friend, Ann Klein of Fletcher; his two daughters, Michele Kruggel of Portsmouth, Va., and Cyndi Osgood of Fletcher; and his grandchildren, Ethan Osgood and Mabel Osgood. The family would like to give special thanks to the support of his close friends Al Brooks, John Owen and Barry Deliduka for their support to Bob and to the family every step of the way. Thanks are also given to the devoted care provided to Bob by the staff at Fletcher Allen Health Care and Starr Farm Nursing Home during his final months as well as to Dr. Jennifer Gilwee and Dr. Elizabeth Seward for many years of support to Bob and his family. A memorial and funeral service will be held in June of 2013. Arrangements are by Boucher and Pritchard Funeral Directors.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 6, 2013
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