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Obituary: Susan Kruder, 1931-2023

January 4, 2024
By Staff Report

Susan Bruggemeier Kruder of Akron, Ohio and Boca Grande, Florida passed away at her home in Florida on December 10, 2023 at the age of 92 comforted by her loving family and caregivers. Susan was born November 1st., 1931 to the late Irene and George Bruggemeier. She was the beloved wife of the late Paul J. Kruder and happily married for over 55 years. Sue and her brothers David and George (Uncle Bud) enjoyed a special childhood growing up on the waters surrounding Turkeyfoot Island. Susan attended Old Trail School in Akron where she formed lifelong friendships.

After graduating in 1949, Sue headed to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Sue met her future husband Paul Kruder on a blind date in Akron while planning her parents 25th anniversary party. The couple were married in 1954, three months after meeting and began their lives as newlyweds in Liberia, West Africa. The Kruders resided in Liberia for two years until Paul’s job with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company necessitated his return to the states.

Sue’s passion for adventure was ignited and throughout their marriage traveled extensively to places such as Australia, Europe, Asia, North and South America. Having an independent spirit, Sue traveled solo to Antarctica and on an African safari pitching a tent in remote places like Tanzania and Kenya. Sue and her daughter, Kathleen, traveled to Ecuador and Galápagos Islands, a mother daughter trip not to be reckoned with. The couple were blessed with two children, Paul Jr. and Kathleen. The family enjoyed a wonderful circle of friends with whom they shared lifelong memories. Family vacations were action packed and always full of surprises. Sue passed along her passion for adventure to her family especially her grandchildren, John Paul and Abigail.

Sue had a profound impact on shaping their character and love of adventure. Sue was an avid gardener and enjoyed arranging flowers from her garden. Sue also had quite the flair for party planning. Many events such as the Charity Ball benefited from her creativity. Sue continued to play cards specifically gin rummy up until a few weeks before her passing. Sue would challenge the best of us and nine times out of ten she prevailed.

Sue continued her active role as President of Computerized Information and Management Services (CIMS) based in Akron, Ohio, until her passing. CIMS was founded in 1970 and has become the industry leader in the tire registration business. The family and supporting colleagues will continue to operate CIMS and the legacy built by Paul and Sue. Sue also presided over Boca Grande Theatre (BGT) and was acting President until her death. BGT was founded in 1978 after the purchase of the Theatre Building (San Marco) which is now home to thriving local businesses.

The Kruder’s love for Gasparilla Island is reflected in the heartfelt contributions to the community of Boca Grande, leaving a legacy for all. Sue’s contributions to her Akron community were unsurpassed. Her hands on approach and dedication to such organizations as Let’s Grow Akron, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Rotary Camp, United Way, Keep Akron Beautiful (Emeritus Board Member) and Junior League are a true testament to her commitment.

In 2019 Sue was the recipient of the Junior League Sustainer Inspiration Award which recognizes a woman who embodies the mission of empowering women for positive change in the community.

Also, Sue received the Keep Ohio Beautiful Community Award, recognizing beautification of communities. She was a member of Akron Garden Club, Planters, Portage Country Club, Boca Grande Woman’s Club, and Boca Grande Club.

Susan is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Kruder Turner (James A.) and her grandchildren, John Paul and Abigail. Susan was preceded in death by her husband, Paul J. Kruder, son, Paul J. Kruder Jr., brothers David Bruggemeier and George (Uncle Bud) Bruggemeier.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 5 at First Congregational Church of Akron, 292 E Market Akron, Ohio with Reverend Nanette Pitt officiating. Private interment at Rose Hill Burial Park.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to The Rotary Camp of Akron, 4460 Rex Lake Dr., Akron, Ohio 44319, Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation (BGHCF), P.O. Box 2340, Boca Grande, Florida 33921, The Island School, P.O. Box 1090, Boca Grande, Florida 33921 or the charity of your choosing.