Lowen Kruse

LOWEN V. KRUSE, Feb. 25, 1929 – Nov. 24, 2017

Reverend Lowen V. Kruse Led the Founding of Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska

We are saddened by the passing of Reverend Lowen V. Kruse, center, former Nebraska state senator, former JFON board chairman and one of the founders of JFON-NE in 1999. A memorial service will be held December 30, 2:00 p.m., at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, 7020 Cass Street.

Kruse led the team that first contacted National Justice For Our Neighbors to explore the process of establishing a site in Nebraska. With his wife Ruth by his side, Lowen gathered volunteers and arranged for an attorney to bring free immigration law services to those who could not afford a private attorney in Des Moines, Sioux City, and Omaha. JFON-NE honored Lowen and Ruth in 2014 for their commitment and compassion in service to vulnerable immigrants.

Emiliano Lerda, JFON-NE executive director, offers condolences to the family and friends. “Lowen will be dearly missed by the entire JFON family, as well as those who worked by his side on so many important causes in our community. He was a good friend  of immigrants and was never afraid to speak up against injustice. Lowen’s legacy will live on through the many organizations he helped. He was a true champion of good. His work has inspired me and will continue to inspire many for generations to come.”

In the photo above, Lowen and Ruth visit with JFON-NE’s Legal Director Shane Ellison at the 2013 Dignity and Respect Rally.

Below are details released by the family on Rev. Kruse’s Facebook page:

Lowen Kruse died peacefully last night. Lowen V. Kruse, Feb. 25, 1929 — Nov. 24, 2017. Born in Boelus, Nebraska, to Baldwin and Amy (Frimann) Kruse, grew up on a farm in the tightknit community centered around Ebenezer Church. Attended Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln and Garrett Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Served the United Methodist Conference from 1956-94 as a pastor in Muscatine (IA), Shelton, Custer County, and Omaha First; as Northeast District Superintendent in Norfolk; and as Conference Director of Ministries in Lincoln. Wrote and published four Nebraska history books. Represented District 13 as a Nebraska State Senator from 2000-08, successfully strengthening impaired driving laws.

The focus of the life of Lowen V. Kruse was to leave this world a better place. He was impassioned about racial justice, peace, immigrant issues, feminism, and LGBTQ equality. His involvement in faith ministry, Nebraskans for Peace, Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, AARP, OTOC and other organizations emanated from his early childhood experiences where community was essential to facing life’s challenges.

Devoted to his family, Lowen is survived by his spouse of 61 years, Ruth A. (Wallis) Kruse; son Douglas L. Kruse (Lisa A. Schur) Princeton, N.J.; daughter Jorika Stockwell (Barry Stockwell) granddaughters Lauren Stockwell and Kiera Stockwell, Putney, Vermont; and many nephews, nieces, cousins and extended family.

Memorials to Southern Poverty Law Center or First United Methodist Church in Omaha (for their racial diversity program). A memorial service will be held December 30, 2:00 p.m., at First United Methodist Church in Omaha.