John Alphonse Kruse, devoted husband to the late Mary Kruse for 55 years, and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at home April 22, 2022. John was born September 11, 1926 to Anna and Francis Kruse, the third of six children. After graduating from U of D Jesuit High School in 1944, he served in the US Navy in WWII in the Pacific theater. Following his service, he earned his undergraduate and law degrees cum laude from the University of Detroit. John married Mary Louise Dalton in 1951.
In addition to practicing law John was active in his church and politics throughout his life, serving as the first city attorney for Allen Park, MI from 1954-59. He was named one of the 5 Outstanding Young Men in Michigan in 1959, Outstanding Alumnus of U of D Law School in 1989, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Neuromuscular Institute in 1988. John also was a visiting professor of law at University of Michigan Law School and U of D Mercy School of Law. He served on the board of the Providence Hospital Foundation, on the U of D President’s Cabinet, and was a member of the Archdiocese of Detroit Cardinal Club.
John founded the law firm of Harvey, Kruse, PC in 1969, distinguishing himself as a highly successful counsel in negligence, tort and product liability law and litigation. A lifetime member of the State Bar of Michigan, he served as its chairman of the negligence section. He was one of the original founding and sustaining Masters of the Bench of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law chapter of the American Inns of Court, in which he served to train countless lawyers in the practice of litigation. John gave many hours of his time serving as a mediator in Oakland County and the Wayne County Mediation Tribunal. He left an indelible impact on the practice of law in Michigan, having served on numerous state and federal law, evidence, and procedure committees. He was a formidable opponent as a litigator, but he always strived to treat opposing counsel and all parties with civility and respect. At one time in his career he had taken more civil cases to trial than any other lawyer in Wayne County, MI. He often recalled making his closing argument in one Wayne County trial while simultaneously picking the jury for another trial in another courtroom. Two of his sons and two of his grandsons followed him into the practice of law in Michigan and elsewhere.
John was a great storyteller with an amazing memory. One of his favorite recollections described his efforts to help support his widowed mom and family in the late 1930s. He worked as a United States Postal Service truck driver long before having a driver’s license. He once convinced a Detroit police officer that he was allowed to drive without a license under federal law according to the US Postal Service. His excellent skills as a trial lawyer were budding in his early teen years.
John was also a member at the Detroit Golf Club for over four decades. He made two holes-in-one and served as president in 1981. He and his wife travelled the world as tourists and pilgrims on numerous religious excursions.
John contributed his time, talent and treasure to many Catholic charities, parishes, and pro-life organizations. He was a co-founder of the Fr. Saylor Council of the Knights of Columbus and was a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher. John and his wife were blessed to meet with Pope St. John Paul II on two occasions. He was one of the first members of Legatus, and co-founded Michigan Catholic Radio, a station devoted to spreading the message of Divine Mercy in Metro Detroit. John was also a longtime supporter of U of D Jesuit High School, UD Mercy, UD Mercy School of Law, Madonna University and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s schools. His faith, his devotion to God, the daily Mass, and the prayers of the Rosary & Divine Mercy chaplet sustained him throughout his life.
His most cherished legacy and the primary focus of his love was his family, which includes Gerard (deceased), Mary Dudley (Doug), Terence (Karen), Kathleen Stec (Gary), Joanne Heidenreich (Steve), Francis (deceased), John G. (Marie), and Patrick (Sara). He is also survived by 35 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
Family will receive friends Wednesday, May 4, 4 – 8pm with Rosary at 7pm, at A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road (between Maple & Big Beaver), Troy, 248-362-2500. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, May 5, at 11am at St. Hugo Stone Chapel, 2215 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills. Visitation at the church begins 10:30am. Internment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.
Memorial Tributes to Mother & Unborn Baby Care, 24500 Southfield Rd., Southfield, MI 48075.
To visit his “Tribute Wall”, please click here.