Kruschkes named Good Neighbor Days grand marshals
Unassuming and humble might be the first words that come to mind when you first meet Howard and Doreen Kruschke, but after a few minutes together you will be adding dedicated, warm and enjoyable. Respected as they are for their extensive involvement in the community, it’s no surprise they have been selected as the grand marshals for this year’s Good Neighbor Days Parade in Roberts.
Being in the spotlight isn’t necessarily something the high school sweethearts enjoy, but in case you are trying to put a face with a name, Howard is currently serving his ninth year as president of the St. Croix Central School District Board of Education, 15th year overall, while Doreen is currently in her 14th year serving as the Roberts Village Clerk.
Howard and Doreen have raised three sons -- Greg, Doug and David -- during their 36-year adventure together, and they are starting to look forward to spending more time with their five grandchildren, Cole, Tegan, Presley and brand new twins, Addison and Avery.
As you might expect, the Kruschkes’ resume is filled with all the requisite scouting and school activities that come with being caring parents and involved citizens.
“We’ve both been active in scouting for years. All three of our sons are Eagle Scouts. My father helped establish the troop in Hudson many moons ago,” Howard said.
“We’ve had great times in scouts,” Doreen added.
Howard’s community contributions include 23 years serving with the Roberts Warren Fire Department, nine of those years as Rescue Captain. He also participated in an advisory role on the EMS committee at WITC and he is currently serving on the CESA Board of Control.
“He used to do Visiting Wizards,” his better half reminds him, a science encouragement program facilitated by 3M where Howard has worked for 36 years as a chemist.
“The Wizard program started in 1984, so there are lots of wizards around,” Howard confirms.
While Howard was off wizarding, Doreen was doing her part making music at church and serving up spaghetti dinners on behalf of the Lions Club and Fire Department.
“I’ve been president of the women's group and volunteered at church for years. I’ve played piano and organ at different churches in the community, including UCC and Trinity, and for lots of weddings,” Doreen said.
Doreen has also been in involved with the Love Baskets program and prepared countless spaghetti dinner fundraisers over 20 years on behalf of the fire department and Lions Club.
“We do it because we enjoy it,” Doreen said.
“If it needs to get done, then we are willing to do it, but we are not going to stand there and wag our flag and say, ‘Hey I did this,’” Howard said.
The couple were surprised to be named grand marshals of this year’s parade.
“When I saw the email, my first reaction was ‘no.’ It took me an afternoon of sewing to convince myself that maybe this was OK. Howard’s reaction when he read the email was, ‘Why would anybody want us?’” Doreen said.
After overcoming their initial disbelief, they both agreed that this is an honor, one they look forward to enjoying together.
“We just hope everybody has a good time,” Howard said
In case anyone is interested, both Howard and Doreen are amenable to signing autographs, but would prefer to just carry on, quietly, graciously, behind the scenes.