Lester James Krueger (Les)
Lester James Krueger (Les)
Lester James Krueger (Les) of Napa, CA died peacefully with his wife at his side on June 7, 2014 at the age of 82. He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who was born to Albert and Lena Krueger at the home of his grandmother Evelyn Klettke Krueger, the widow of Ferdinand Krueger, in Fredonia, ND in December 1931, by Midwife Mrs. Miller. It was a harsh winter.
Les was raised and educated in Medina, ND, serving as 1949 Salutatorian of Medina High School. He attended Jamestown College before choosing a career in the construction industry. He married the love of his life, Phyllis Jean Koenig (daughter of Ralph and Katherine Koenig) in 1955. Together they raised 10 children. His ND construction career included building freeways and the Minuteman missile sites; he was certified as both a nuclear welder and an atomic material handling specialist (i.e. warheads). In 1968, while completing the final missile site for the Army Corps of Engineers in Vallejo, CA, he fell in love with Napa, especially its weather (no snow!). So, he relocated his family to Napa, CA. He retired in 1992 from Syar Industries where he served as a Heavy Equipment Master Mechanic and Crane Operator. He was also an inventor, an entrepreneur (Mandan, ND nightclub and Napa crane service) and a great storyteller, who enjoyed his family, playing cards, dancing (especially the Polka), watching sports, deep sea fishing and hunting abalone, deer and pheasant. He was an avid football and baseball fan who cheered for the 49ers, Giants and Vikings.
His wonderful spirit lives on in his large and devoted family. He is survived by his beloved wife, Phyllis Krueger of Napa; four sons, Paul Krueger, Michael Krueger, Daniel Krueger and John Krueger; four daughters, Deborah Krueger Pitts, Susan Krueger, Cheryl Krueger and Betsy Krueger Whitaker; eight grandchildren, Brittyn Krueger, Lauren Pitts Shanley, Jessica Saunders, Benjamin Pitts, Sara Whitaker, Sara Krueger, Joshua Pitts and Katherine Whitaker; a great-grandson Jayden Michael Saunders-Cerasoli; two son-in-laws, Keith Pitts and Les Whitaker and a daughter-in-law, Roni LeFranc Krueger; two sisters Verna Krueger Moser Peterson of Jamestown, ND and Lila Krueger Dehne of Mandan, ND and a brother Willard Krueger of Fargo, ND. Two sons William Krueger and Patrick Krueger, a granddaughter Jennifer Krueger, a great-granddaughter, Kayleigh Jayne Slusher, his parents Albert and Lena Krueger; his brothers Melvin Krueger and Kenneth Krueger; his paternal grandparents Ferdinand Krueger and Evelyn Klettke Krueger, and his maternal grandparents Frederick and Margareth Grabau predecease him.
On Friday, June 13, a visitation will be held from 4-6pm, with the Rosary at 6pm at Tulocay Funeral Chapel (411 Coombsville Road, Napa, CA 94559). The funeral will be at St. Apollinaris Church (3700 Lassen Street, Napa, CA) on Saturday, June 14, at 10 a.m., followed by a celebration of his life. Burial will be at Tulocay Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75231, 1-800-242-8721, www.donate.heart.org.