Cover photo for Phyllis Lillian (Hokkanen)  Kruse's Obituary
Phyllis Lillian (Hokkanen)  Kruse Profile Photo
1939 Phyllis 2016

Phyllis Lillian (Hokkanen) Kruse

October 12, 1939 — July 26, 2016

Phyllis Lillian Kruse, of L’Anse, Michigan. Loving mother and grandmother, passed away on July 26, 2016 in Rockford, Michigan; she was 76 years old. Phyllis Kruse was born on October 12, 1939 in Hancock, MI to the late William and Elsie (Pythila) Hokkanen. She married Richard J.A. Kruse on June 10, 1961 in Southfield MI. Phyllis was a 1957 graduate of Allen Park High School, and earned her Bachelor’s degree and MBA, both from Central Michigan University.

Phyllis believed in hard work and serving others. She exemplified this in her career as a teacher, as well as in public service, serving as a County Commissioner for Saginaw Township. After retirement, Phyllis loved living on the shores of Lake Superior, and so enjoyed the beauty of the Upper Peninsula. She was particularly proud of her Finnish heritage, and worked to be the embodiment of SISU all of her days, even as she dealt with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Phyllis enjoyed blueberry picking, gardening, bird watching and traveling. Bonfires by the shore and spending time with her two sons and their families were the best of times for all.

Surviving are her children: Erick (Susan) Kruse, Lowell, MI, Kurt (Hillary) Kruse, Rockford, MI; seven grandchildren, Katie, Connor, Daniel, Mikayla, David, William, and Lucas. Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband Richard on March 2, 2015, and brother John Hokkanen. Phyllis is survived by her sisters in-law, Carole Hokkanen and Mildred Kruse, as well as nieces and nephews: Ben (Jennifer), Ericka, Marsha, Mike, Maureen (Jerry), Marna, Myra, Andrea. Thank you to all of the special friends in L’Anse who meant so much to Phyllis.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Bishop Hills Elder Care, for all of the loving care and support they provided for Phyllis.

Phyllis' Funeral Service will take place on Friday, July 29th at 3:00 p.m. at Jacobson Funeral Home, 200 L’Anse Ave, L’Anse. Pastor Peter Suomela will officiate. Friends may call at the Jacobson Funeral Home on Friday from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the service at 3:00 p.m. Burial will follow at the L’Anse Evergreen Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the American Legion in L’Anse, hosted by the Aura Auxiliary.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Aura Lutheran Church, c/o Carol Gallup, 13826 Bayview Dr., L’Anse, MI 49946.

Friends may sign Phyllis’s guest book or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Lillian (Hokkanen) Kruse, please visit our flower store.


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