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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Bettijune Kruse
January 6, 1924 - March 25, 2020
Service Information Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills
Service Date: Sunday March 29th, 2020
Service Time: 10:00 am
Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills
5950 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, California 90068
Inquire at Booth for directions
January 6, 1924 – March 25, 2020
Author Bettijune Kruse was courageous, kind, generous, and creative. Her contributions to numerous causes were made quietly without expectation of recognition.
Born in Detroit, Michigan on January 6, 1924, she was the only child of Saul Frank and Frances Wolfe Frank.
Bettijune was the loving mother of three children: Liane Jennifer Enkelis, Martin Alexander Kruse, and Steven Lewis Kruse; the beloved mother-in-Law to Richard Enkelis, Kathreen Kruse, and Penny Thompson Kruse; and the devoted wife to Benedict Wecht Kruse, her husband of 54 years. All three of her children pursued creative careers, a tribute to the example set by Bettijune.
Her mother’s Wolfe family of Detroit provided a strong family foundation. However, growing up during the Great Depression, Bettijune’s household moved frequently while her father sought work. This experience made her value home and community – and later gave her a rich treasure trove to draw upon for her writing.
Bettijune was interested in radio broadcasting during her high school and college years. While working at a radio station outside of Chicago, she had the momentous task of reading the news on air of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Bettijune and Ben met while students at Columbia University in New York City, and married in 1947. Their marriage was a creative partnership of two writers, although in the early years Bettijune postponed much of her writing while raising her three children and helping her husband establish their writing and publishing business. Together the couple wrote and produced dozens of textbooks.
The couple moved to Los Angeles County in 1954. They resided in Tujunga, where Bettijune taught Sunday School at the synagogue and was active in Hadassah. They moved to Pasadena in the mid-1980s, where Bettijune resided until recently.
Bettijune earned a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Occidental College, Los Angeles. This sparked her work as a short story writer and novelist.
During her long, full life she always supported civil rights. Her debut novel, Seasons in Time, highlights the struggles against prejudices of all types. It is a semi-autobiographical novel about the founding of the UAW in Detroit and expresses Bettijune’s beliefs in the dignity of work, safe working conditions, and a living wage for all.
Bettijune was active in the College Women’s Club of Pasadena (Past President) and the Dionysians Creative Women’s Club (where she was a frequent contributor of short stories).
She is survived by her daughter Liane Enkelis (of Pasadena), daughter-in-law Kathreen Kruse (of Las Vegas), and her son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Penny Kruse (of Ohio).
The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in memory of Bettijune Kruse to two organizations that were dear to her:
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society:
Sierra Madre Playhouse: