Cover photo for Mark Wesley Kruse's Obituary
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1954 Mark 2024

Mark Wesley Kruse

September 18, 1954 — April 18, 2024

Phoenix

Mark Wesley Kruse, affectionately known as Mose, Marcos, Markie, Pumpkie, by many who loved him, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2024 at Haven of Phoenix. Mark leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and his very unique passion for life.  He achieved recognition as the absolute best woodworking artist anyone could ever encounter.

He was 69 years old.  Mark is survived by his wife of 45 years, Toni Hayes Kruse.

He leaves behind family and dear friends who cherished him deeply. He is also survived by his siblings David Kruse, Martha Kruse Fairfield, Ruth MacGee, Paul Kruse, and Ila Kruse Schmidt.

Mark was preceded in death by his Father Clemens George Kruse, Sr., Mother Merle Beatrice Kruse (Steckhan), Brothers Jon in 2012, & Clem in 2022.

Mark was born in Clinton, IA, to the Reverend Clemens George Kruse, Sr., and Merle Beatrice Kruse. He was the 7th born and youngest of five Boys in a family of 8 siblings.

Mark was dedicated to his work as a Master Carpenter. His boundless creativity, professional skills and ability to build anything, without requiring a blueprint, was astounding. His creative imagination and eye for design, added to his incredible craftsmanship, delighted all who were fortunate enough to receive, or even just behold, his creations.

Mark had a passion for life, love and friendships. Mark really enjoyed many staycations at fancy resorts during off season :), in beautiful Arizona. He could accomplish anything he set his beautiful mind to do. Mark was athletic, an amazingly knowledgeable practitioner and teacher of workout, weight lifting, and body building regimens; he even taught himself to play golf.

Mark’s intellectual curiosity knew no bounds. He was Class President and was in the New Life Club, a variety of school sports, and many other activities. Graduating from BBCHS in 1973, he continued some studies at Olivet Nazarene College and KCC.

Mark and Toni knew each other in high school; they became engaged then married in Bradley, IL.  The newlyweds then moved to Arizona where they built their life together.

Mark went to work for Pulte Homes in Arizona. Soon after, he and Toni bought their first home from Pulte in Chandler. Mark’s reputation for mastery of the most exacting woodworking and finishing jobs, including curved staircases and complex trim work, held him in demand with homebuilders.

Mark and Toni founded Kruse Systems, Inc., successfully producing many unique, large, ornate “scenes”, which were Mark’s version of detailed structures (fantastic replicas of a Castle, Farmhouse with a Water Wheel, Pagoda, Old West Hotel, etc.) to adorn and add character and awe to miniature golf courses all over America.

There wasn’t anything Mark could not dream up and build.

Those who knew and loved Mark knew him as a man who was very thoughtful, very kind, spiritual, generous, reliable, brave, positive, and extremely funny!

He will be forever remembered and terribly missed by so many.

Services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association.


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