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God graciously called Doris Kruger home to Heaven on Dec. 24, 2009, to celebrate Christmas with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was 91 years of age and had resided the past 12 years in Billings, where she shared a home with her youngest daughter after previously living in Missoula for over 50 years.

Doris Rachel McDonald was born as one of six siblings to Harry Clyde McDonald and Dora Christine Martha Long McDonald on Nov. 11, 1918, on a ranch in Quinn, S.D. Her family moved to Minneapolis, where she spent her childhood. Despite growing up during the Great Depression, Doris loved to attend free concerts and dances. At a young age, she became an avid reader, especially of western novels, and dreamed of moving one day to Montana to live in the magnificent west. During her teen years, Doris spent summers at her uncle’s ranch in South Dakota. There are wonderful pictures of her with chaps, rope and cowboy hat. She attended Central High School in Minneapolis and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1926, where she lived her senior year with relatives for health reasons. Her ancestors discovered and explored Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, and her father was one of the original founders of the Tonka Toy Company.

On Dec. 29, 1943, Doris married Herbert Alvin Henry Kruger at Temple Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Doris worked as an accounting clerk while waiting for Herb to return stateside from military duty during World War II. During their dating years in Minnesota, Doris and Herb enjoyed the outdoors with ice skating, skiing, swimming and bird hunting. They also both loved music and dancing. Doris and Herb moved to Missoula the summer of 1946, where they raised six children and enjoyed 52 years of marriage. They established a loving Christian home which was a welcoming place for friends and oftentimes for those in need.

Doris dearly enjoyed the Montana mountains and the outdoors with picnics, fishing and hunting during her younger years. She was known for her wonderful homemade cinnamon rolls, banana bread and Christmas cookies, and was an avid reader and a master of crossword puzzles and Scrabble games. Doris was a longtime member of First Lutheran Church in Missoula and later of Trinity Lutheran Church in Billings. She was active in many service organizations: Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, and her children’s school activities.

Doris dedicated her life to raising six children and loving her family to her last days. She centered the family home on the joy of faith, family, friends and music. Herb and Doris taught their children by example to live a respectful Christ-centered life and to be thankful and content with the blessings of each day.

Doris is survived by her six children, Phil Kruger of Whitefish, Mike Kruger of Missoula, Jeff Kruger and  wife Claudia of Cody, Wyo., Rachel Oberheu and husband Rick of Delta, Colo., Joe Kruger and wife Cybelle of Bonner, Dora Cardillo and husband Dave of Billings. Her treasured grandchildren are Kami Dahl, Casey Kruger, Heidi Gwynn and Herb Kruger, Jacob and Adam Oberheu, Cody and Jesse Kruger, Katie and James Cardillo. She is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews; and two dear friends, Holly Stetson and Shawn Roberts.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Herb; infant son John; brother Robert McDonald; sisters Arlene Nelson, Viola McDonald, Mary Ellen Anderson and Harriet Phillips.

Doris was surrounded by loving family members at the time of her death.

Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to support elementary Christian education may be made to First Lutheran Classical School, 2808 South Avenue West, Missoula, MT 59804. A memorial service of Christian thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Doris will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 11 a.m., at First Lutheran Church, 2808 South Avenue West, Missoula.

We rejoice in knowing that Doris is forever with her Savior. 

Her children are very thankful to God for giving them such loving parents. Our Christian faith, family and friends are indeed the most meaningful things in life.

Romans 8: 38-39

Proverbs 3: 5-6

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