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Matthew Mark Kruse, 52, departed this life suddenly Friday, December 7, 2012, at Arbors of Sylvania, where he was under rehabilitative care for complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was born October 18, 1960, the fourth of seven children to H.D. "Dave" and Catherine "Kitty" Kruse. Matthew attended Larc Lane School and graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1982, through their mainstream program.
In early life, Matthew was an athlete in the Special Olympics program participating in several events until eye and knee injuries prevented him from further participation. He was employed by Lott Industries holding various positions at several companies including Calphalon, Food Town Stores, Value City and many other businesses.
A lifelong member of Little Flower Parish, Matthew served as an usher until earlier this year when Alzheimer's disease prevented him serving any longer in that capacity. He was a member of the JOY People, and enjoyed participation in all of their activities. He was also an active member of NAFIM National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry, and attended many of their events including a trip to The Vatican for the Jubilee Year in 2000. Matthew was also involved in several programs under the direction of the Lucas County Department of Developmental Disabilities, and especially looked forward to the annual dinner dances.
As a high functioning person with Downs Syndrome, Matthew was keenly aware of his limitations. The fact that he had limitations, and was often misunderstood, frustrated him. Still he found a way to not just fit in, but to positively affect the lives of everyone with whom he came into contact. Matthew was kind and gentle and often took it upon himself to serve others, especially neighbors in need. He was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Lakers fan. His impersonations of Elvis, The Cowardly Lion, Hulk Hogan and the Three Stooges lit up many family and social gatherings. Close family friend, Rev. Mark Davis said it best upon Matthew's passing, "With God, Matthew is now free of all limits and frustrations".
In addition to his parents, left to cherish his memory are brothers, Mike (Lyn), Jim (Linda), TJ (Ellen), Sean, Chris; sister, Cathie (Jack) Meade; nephews and nieces, Andrew (Megan) Kruse, Aaron Kruse, Sarah (Andrew) Derminer, Amanda (Paul) Dwyer, Peter Kruse, Daniel Meade, Mary (Tom Szymanski) Meade, Benjamin Meade, Lauren Baumert, Emily Kruse, Lindsay Kruse, Danica Baumert, and Abigail Kruse. He also leaves behind a great-nephew, William Dwyer, and great-nieces, Zoe Derminer and Claire Dwyer.
Friends may call at the Wisniewski Funeral Home 2426 North Reynolds Rd. Toledo, OH 43615 from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, where a Scripture service will be held at 7:00 p.m. The family will also receive visitors Wednesday, December 12, 2012, starting at 10:00 a.m. at Little Flower Parish 5562 Dorr St. Toledo, OH. 43615. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Mark Davis as celebrant.
For those who wish to make donations, the family asks that you please consider Equal Access Ministry of the Toledo Diocese, National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry (NAFIM), or Little Flower Parish.
The family wishes to thank the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities staff members Janeene Nightingale, Helen Behrens, "Big Mike" and Caren Taylor for their genuine care for and advocacy on behalf of Matthew. We would also like to thank the staff at Arbors of Sylvania, especially Vic, Shawn Lynne, Marti and Cassie for the loving care and concern shown Matthew during the last two months.
Published in Toledo Blade from Dec. 9 to Dec. 10, 2012