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.