Shirley June Kruse
June 22, 1922 - February 2, 2024

\Born June 22,1922, to William John Chase and Helen Webber Chase, Shirley lived her young life in New York and
New Jersey with her siblings Helen, Margaret, William (Bill), and Gertrude (Gert), along with many aunts, uncles,
cousins, and friends nearby. She is pre-deceased by her first husband Chester Egler and her second husband
Lawrence Kruse.
Family summers the siblings escaped the heat of New York to experience country life with their grandmothers and
great aunts in Laconia and Wentworth, New Hampshire, and Rosendale, New York.
A favorite family recollection is that while living in New York City in the late 1920's early 1930s, Shirley, Gert and
Bill formed a vaudeville group that performed in local theaters and also on the Hudson River Dayliner, with a full
orchestra. They always won the big talent prize, which was an important contributor to the family income during
lean years. Shirley and Gert continued their singing together into their elder years.
Shirley was a pilot with the WASP, US Air Force, from 1944-1946. It was her life's passion to educate others about
the efforts of these valiant, ground-breaking women. She was a spokesman and frequent interviewee for anything
WASP. Her legacy leaves many gifts to the WASP Museum in Sweetwater, Texas and the Missiles and More
Museum in Topsail Beach, NC.
Shirley was strong-willed at times, but she also had an enormous heart and a wonderful sense of adventure.
She was generous, loyal, and brave. She loved her family above all else (reprimanding them when necessary!)
She was an open-minded world traveler, always preferring the best hotels and the best hotel bar in town and
enjoying 12-year scotch. She traveled the world many times over, including family members and making memories
with them.
Her wish upon death was for her "clan" to raise a glass and declare, "No tears here, Shirley was a woman who lived
her life. She was a good old broad!". She will be remembered for all the heart she shared with her friends and
Shirley is survived by her family who will miss her forever- daughters, Barbara Paul-Holmes of Pompano Beach,
Florida, and Katherine Arnott-Maheu and Wendy Van Kleeck, both of Wilmington, North Carolina, 10
grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
“Fly High Shirley”

Arrangements are in the care of Coastal Cremations, 6 Jacksonville Street, Wilmington, NC 28403.

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