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Helen Kruger-Abercrombie

1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Helen Kruger-Abercrombie Obituary
Kruger-Abercrombie, Helen M.

Helen M. Kruger-Abercrombie, MFH, 82, of Corrales, New Mexico passed away on November 8, 2016, after a valiant fight with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by her family. Born Helen Marie Reynolds, July 17, 1934 in Valmora NM. Her mother, Mary Reynolds Rackley was a school teacher for more than 25 years in their home town of Watrous, NM. Helen's father, Max Rackley, was a road engineer. The Rackley's retired in Santa Fe, NM in 1970.

Helen attended the Loretto Academy in El Paso, Texas from kindergarten until her graduation in 1952. Being raised and educated in a convent was always part of Helen and this brightly shown through in her strong Christianity, family values, grace and manners. Immediately following graduation, Helen worked for El Paso Natural Gas. She married Dorman David in 1958 and had a daughter, Michelle, that same year. In 1961, after relocating to Santa Fe to be with her parents, Helen met and married Willard C. Kruger. They had a daughter Kristin, in 1963.

Willard C. Kruger was a prominent Architect in Santa Fe, he was best known for designing and developing the city of Los Alamos along with designing the laboratories that housed the development of the Atomic Bomb, also known as the Manhattan Project, during World War II. He is also known for the design of the New Mexico State Capital, as well as many other state, federal, commercial projects and university buildings during his 50 year career, when he passed in 1984.

During their marriage, Helen embodied graciousness and quiet dignity. She was welcoming to everyone, never met a stranger and thoroughly enjoyed entertaining. Helen was able to foster her passion of horses. She helped run Tres Lagunas, a guest ranch the couple owned in the Pecos Wilderness. She loved introducing strangers to horses and the beautiful outdoors. During those years she hosted guests from local New Mexicans, to State and National dignitaries and Hollywood actors. The couple was also very involved in Quarter Horse racing in New Mexico as Willard was involved in establishing the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. They raised and owned several Quarter Horse race horses over the years. They also were involved with the development and running of Santa Fe Downs.

In 1974, the couple relocated to Albuquerque, NM. Helen was upset to leave Santa Fe and all of her horsey friends and their activities. Although, she began riding on the ditch banks that lined their Albuquerque home's back yard and quickly met more horse friends than ever. She was introduced to Sandy and Bob Platts, who were the then Master's of the Juan Tomas Hounds Hunt. She began riding to the hounds twice a week, rain or shine. Upon their decision to relocate to Colorado, the Platts appointed the enthusiastic Helen to be the Master of the Hounds in 1977, leaving only a few hounds behind. For the next four decades, she made it her life work to develop a fox hound that would be able to successfully hunt in the arid countryside of New Mexico and introduce any other avid rider to come enjoy the sport she loved so much. She never took her role as Master for granted. She tirelessly served the hunt and the hounds and fiercely protected the hunt country. As soon as her grandson's could safely ride across country, she happily had two more horses to haul with her early every Sunday morning. Her dedication to the sport has not only trained generations of fox hunters but has forged many lifelong friendships. She remained an integral part of Juan Tomas Hounds, and upon her death, she was the longest serving woman Master in the United Stated.

Helen remained a widow until 2015, when she met and married David Abercrombie, an old friend from her Northern New Mexico roots. David remained in his hometown of Anton Chico for most of his life and became a well known cattle rancher in New Mexico. He was recently widowed and moved onto Angus Lane in Corrales where Helen had been residing since 1983. The couple quickly caught up on old times and shared stories of old friends and their lives on the back of a horse either of chasing hounds or cattle. They found themselves in each other's company continually. They were married on May, 8th 2015 until her death on November 8th, 2016. Helen's smile never dimmed.

Helen is survived by her husband, David Abercrombie. Her daughter, Michelle Kruger Hall and her husband, Alan of Aurora, CO. Her daughter Kristin Kruger Harbin and her husband Wayne of Lampasas, TX. Her seven grandchildren, Josh Castillo, Nicholas Samuelson, Chris Hall, Ashley Hall, Bobby Ernst, Michael Ernst and Patrick Ernst. She is also survived by her brother Michael Reynolds and his wife Sheilah of Conway, SC and her brother-in-law Dale Dawson of Albuquerque, NM and several nieces and nephews. Helen was preceded in death by her sister, Joan Claire Dawson earlier in 2016. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit


Daniels Family Funeral Services

4310 Sara Road SE

Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Nov. 27, 2016
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