Rodney G. “Rod” Kruse
June 27, 1947 – December 8, 2021
Rod Kruse was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, boss and friend. He will forever be remembered for his selflessness, generosity, and commitment to his family and all of those around him. Rod lived his life to the fullest in every aspect and left nothing undone in his professional or personal life—whether it involved work or play. He and his devoted wife, Marilyn, were married for 53 years.
Rod was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and graduated from Cumberland-Massena High School in 1965. After Rod enlisted in the United States Air Force, he was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi where he married Marilyn Rold. After a transfer to Fort Bragg, California, Rod was honorably discharged and the two moved to Omaha, Nebraska where they started their family.
As a licensed electronic technician, Rod’s career began in the 2-way radio business where he built, repaired, and sold Citizen’s Band (CB) communication systems. In the early 1970’s, Rod played fast-pitch softball and was considered one of best pitchers in the Midwest region.
As one of the founders of Nebraska Technical Services, he was instrumental in building one of the largest coin-operated amusement routes in the United States starting with only the financial backing of his personal savings account. Faced against steep odds and fierce competition, Rod helped create a business that included an expansive operation of digital jukeboxes, electronic dartboards, countertop touchscreen games and many other amusement devices. In addition, the Nebraska Electronic Dart Association laid claim to the largest number of soft-tip dart players in the country at one point. Rod was involved in countless other ventures including state-wide petition drives promoting the legalization of gambling and was a pioneer in the development of electronic skill-based games in the state of Nebraska.
Rod was also an avid outdoorsman. His favorite pastimes were hunting and fishing and his excursions took him from Lake Erie to Oklahoma to Idaho. For over 40 years, Rod held the 5:00 am hour of Perpetual Adoration at St. Joan of Arc Church.
To all the valued business partners, colleagues, and employees that have been part of Rod’s work over the decades, please know how much you meant to him. He never asked anyone to perform a task that he would not do himself.
Due to the sudden and extreme nature of Rod’s illness, he recognized that he would never be able to say goodbye to the many friends that he made over the years. Please know that you were all in his heart and mind over the last few months.
Rod was survived by his wife, Marilyn, children Ryan (Deb), Sara (Addam), and Mark (Christina); grandchildren: Hunter, Cassidy, Chase, and Lane Kruse; brothers: Mike Kruse (Sherri), Ted Henkenius (Connie), and John Henkenius (Lisa); sister, Jan Walton; in-laws; many nephews and nieces; and mother, Jean Henkenius whom will have her 95th birthday in March.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, December 15th from 5pm to 7pm followed by VIGIL SERVICE at the West Center Chapel. FUNERAL SERVICE: December 16th at 10:30am at St. Joan of Arc Church, 3122 S. 74th Street. Memorials will be directed by the family.
To view a live broadcast of the Visitation, Vigil Service and Funeral Service, please go to www.HeafeyHeafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page. Memorials will be directed by the family.
So sorry for your loss. Rod was a good friend and dart partner. He will be missed by many.
Marilyn, Ryan, Sarah and the Rest of the NTS Family,
I completely saddened by this news! I know that I’m sorry are inadequate words, but I truly am sorry for what the Kruse and NTS family is experiencing right now. I am wish you all peace and strength during this difficult time. I know loss is a terrible and awful experience, so I will be thinking of ALL of you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 💔🙏
Fly High Rod! 🕊
My deepest condolences to the entire family.
God be with you all
Sending your family deepesr sympathy. Deb Gerlitz
You were a surrogate father figure to me Rod…and a gigantic almost invincible figure in my mind. I just felt comfortable and safe in your presence. If anything went wrong but Rod was there then there was nothing to fear, because there was nothing you couldn’t handle. I had so much respect for you…you’ll always be one of the most important people in my life. I love you, and I’m really, really going to miss you. If you put siding on your new place I swear to God I won’t put a huge dent in it this time. At least I’ll try REALLY HARD not to. Till we meet again…and we will.
Mark, Marilyn, Sara, Ryan: I love you guys so, so much. I’m so sorry.
My heart goes out to all of Rod’s family. While most of my memories of Rod are from a time we were all so young , I know what a wonderful , funny and good man he was. He will be so missed.
We r so sorry Marilyn he was such an amazing guy!
I am so stunned to hear of Rod’s passing and send my deepest sympathy to you and the family. Our early years together were unforgettable. I remember all the fun we had as newly married military folks, stuck in a small town in Northern California, making the best of it-The drive to San Francisco for Big Mac’s on a whim, a trip to Reno with no snow until the last day when we ended up putting chains on the tires of the car, the many, many fun gatherings and of course, your visit to see us in New York with baby Ryan. It is just so sad and even though you have so many to support you, life without Rod is unimaginable, but God’s plan is not ours.
Stay well, my friend.
You will be missed and will always be loved by so many and especially in this family. And to the Kruse family are love is with you as well in this time of grief. Love Pat, Willie and Dave
Ryan, so sorry to hear of your loss. I didn’t know your dad, but he sounds as awesome as his son. I’ll be praying that your family finds peace.
I am so sorry to hear of Rod’s passing, I always enjoyed our conversations, mostly business related but we always seemed to talk fishing, he sometimes made it to South Dakota.
We are so sorry for your loss. Although we only met Rod a few times, his personality and his warmth made you feel as if you were always friends. I am the daughter of Sheri Patterson and the step-daughter of Mike Kruse. That means Rod is family and please know that I love you all and am praying hard and keeping all of you close in ny heart. May Rod rest In peace and may the wonderful life and memories you shared together fill your heart and take away a little of the sadness you are feeling right now. Love Eric and Robyn Dold
I am so very sorry for your loss.
Sorry to hear of Rod’s passing. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. (Dgt of Irene Henkenius Klahn)
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Rod was such a sweet guy & I so enjoyed chatting with him at the bar. One of the nicest men I know, breaks my heart. My thoughts & prayers to his family.
I’m so sorry for your loss. What a guy.
Dear Kruse Family – I wanted you to know that Rod was one of the nicest people in our industry. He was a serious businessman but treated everyone with respect. Rod was very helpful anytime I asked him for information or contacts. I will miss him and wish that I could have seen him one more time. I remember a saying when I think about Rod, “You may not remember what someone said to you, but you will always remember how they made you feel.” Rod always made me feel welcomed. He will be missed. God’s Blessings to Rod’s family. My prayers are with you.
We are so sorry to hear of Rod’s passing. He was a wonderful man with a heart of gold. Prayers of comfort for the entire Kruse family and the NTS family. Many great memories and friendships.
Pat & Barb O’Keefe
I am so sorry to hear of Rod’s passing. He was a great guy, and an industry friend! Sending prayers at this sad time….
To my friend Rod I will say I was fortunate to know someone so selfless and genuine. You always treated me so incredibly well. I am grateful for the friendship you gave me. Peace my friend and thank you…
Marilyn and Family: I’m so sorry to see Rod has passed away. You have our deepest sympathy, will keep you and family in our prayers. Bob and Jeannie
Claree & I send our deepest condolences to Marilyn, Sara, Mark, Ryan & the entire Kruse & NTS family. We are thankful to hav been apart of Rod’s life.
Ted and family – please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of Rod. Please know you are in our prayers. Warmest regards…
Just heard about Rod’s death. My condolences to the family. He was a great cousin coming into the family when Jean married Uncle Ken. Always enjoyed talking with him whenever I stopped in at the shop in Omaha. Marilyn and family may the comfort of Jesus’ resurrection and the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus give you comfort at this time. Rev. Rodney D. Fritz.
My condolences to the Kruse family. Mr and Mrs Kruse always let me tag along with them to a post soccer game meal in college like I was one of their own. They also let me crash at their house when I would visit Ryan in Omaha. Mr Kruse always had a smile on his face and would always ask me how I was doing. I will always remember him as a generous and great man.