Kruse off the board, but still in the game |

Kruse off the board, but still in the game

by Susie Vasquez

Incumbent Ron Kruse lost his bid for trustee of the Indian Hills General Improvement District in the November election, but he’ll be attending those Indian Hills board meetings every month, he said.

“I won’t be on the board, but I’ll be just as involved,” he said.

A member of the Indian Hills Board since 1994, Kruse said he’s seen Indian Hills evolve from a mom-and-pop operation to a first-class district with parks and a state-of-the-art water and sewer system, all without increasing taxes for Indian Hills residents.

He believes in cityhood for Indian Hills. To that end, he’ll be stumping for his cause at the upcoming state legislature and if residents there vote for cityhood, he’ll run for Mayor.

“Indian Hills needs to evolve,” he said. “Indian Hills should become a city, to be the best it can.”

A very spry 68, Kruse feels the increase in water rates earlier this year was the major factor contributing to his November election loss.

Following that increase, someone shot at him with an air pistol when he was standing in his living room.

Board Trustees Art Baer and Riley Evans had similar experiences, Kruse said.

“All the incidents were reported, but there was no further police action,” he said.

Born in Chicago in 1936, Kruse joined the Navy in 1952. He was stationed at Miramar Naval Air Station outside of San Diego, Calif., where he learned to play golf. A scratch player, he competed with the likes of Billy Casper and Arnold Palmer and was “just one sponsor away from becoming a pro,” he said.

He rose to the position of Master Chief in the Navy and ultimately ran flight decks on aircraft carriers.

“I loved it,” he said. “I’d go back in a minute.”

Kruse never quite got the military life out of his system.

He serves as Nevada representative for the Fleet Reserve Association. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., the group lobbies for veteran issues at the federal level.

The Association also takes a leadership role locally and is part of a coalition that includes hundreds of veterans groups throughout the state. Kruse is also serving his third term as chairman of the Veterans Commission.

After a 21-year stint in the Navy he tried a few other jobs, including police work worked in Fremont, Calif. He also worked at the chemical research division of United Technologies, but ultimately decided to go into the antique business, a vocation and avocation he’s been involved with for 30 years.

“We’re still doing antique shows,” he said. “Once in this business, no one really stops.”

Kruse has been married to Elaine Kruse for 50 years and together they have two grown children.

He is chairman of the Veteran Services Commission for Nevada and belongs to numerous organizations, including the Navy League, Vietnam Veterans Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.