An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

Don Cruse
Don in Dallas NWSA Reunion #36

CDR Don Cruse, USN RET

Don at Plaque Presentation

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 A Final Farewell to My Chief

I proceeded to Arlington National Cemetery on Friday 15 November 2013 to pay my final tribute to CDR Don Cruse, my Chief, my mentor, and long-time friend and shipmate.  Family and friends there appreciated the very professional and well-executed "Full Military Honors" ceremony presented by the Navy contingent at Arlington National.

As indicated in the May 2013 Aerograph article provided by Fay Crossley and Lloyd Corbett, Don was a real "Fleet Sailor" who honorably served throughout WWII, the Korean Campaign and much of the "Cold War" in a variety of challenging operational assignments (destroyers, carriers, fleet air wings, fleet weather facilities, air stations, intelligence, etc.)

Don was a superb Chief Petty Officer and LDO.  He took care of his troops and there was no task too big or too small that he could not effectively manage.  He could always come-up with the correct decision to get the job done.

One of his best decisions was his marriage to Marge Durst (Cruse) which flourished for 66 years.  Marge has now moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to be near her daughter Donna Hendricks and husband Chuck, and also reasonably closer to her son David and wife Le Ann in North Minnesota.  Marge told me that she is doing OK in getting settled in her new abode and hopes to attend the 40th Anniversary NWSA Reunion in Pensacola April 27 - 1 May 2014.

Submitted by Al Atwell - ex S1cAerM/AGC

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Marge Cruse

I first met Don and Marge Cruse in Japan in the early 60s. The Fleet Weather Office (on the hill) was a great place to work and working for CDR Cruse was a joy.  We were all a close knit group and the Cruses came to parties at our house.  Their children, Donna and David, were great and though they were older than my kids, they played with the little ones.

I followed the Cruses to DC, and I worked for Don again at the HQ, until he retired in 1968.  Even though retired Don and Marge kept in touch with me, and when I retired in 1981 I was “encouraged” (as only Don and Marge could do) to join the NWSA.  My first reunion was in DC sponsored by the Potomac Chapter.

The Cruse Crew spent part of each July, camping out at Camp Of The Woods in Speculator New York. They had been going there for many years.  The camp is about 5 miles from my brother’s camp on Elm Lake.  We always enjoyed meeting with the Cruses at reunions, or Potomac Chapter meetings; my favorite was Don’s “Crabs At The Crik” event a picnic at their trailer south of DC.

The Cruses were doers in the NWSA and Chapter events, I think they never missed a reunion.  We all were saddened at Don’s passing 4/1/13.  Marge saw to it Don was placed to rest at Arlington before moving to Colorado Springs to be close to daughter Donna.

Marge is doing well and we wish her well, she will be at #40 am sure.  Attached is a picture of Marge with my Niece Lori Schardt.  Lori’s brother Kent and Lori's husband Bruce graduated from West Point class of 1980.  Kent met the Cruses in 2012 and was thrilled to hear all the sea stories.

Submitted by Fay Crossley, HRC Secretary

History Articles by CDR Don Cruse