LaVoughn Arlys Krueger was born to Alfred and Bertha Ellsworth (Brynteson) September 4, 1943. She gained her wings and entered the gates of Heaven on Thursday, July 6th, just 2 months before her 80th birthday. She was very affectionately known as both Tata or Tillie most of her life. She was given her nickname Tata by her brother who couldn’t pronounce her name, and was even called Tata by the hospital staff taking care of her in her final days.
Her early years were spent riding horse and attending school in the one room schoolhouse at Traux Traer coal mine south of Velva. They relocated for a short time to Glasgow, MT while Alfred worked on the Air Force Base there. They settled in Sawyer, ND in the late 1950s, where she graduated from high school in 1962.
While in high school she met her future husband, Kenneth Krueger. Little did she know she would spend the next 60 years raising her family with him. They were joined in marriage on December 1st, 1962 and settled in the Sawyer area, where they remained their entire lives. From 1963 to 1987 they were blessed with 7 children, Kevin, Karla, Karmell, Kyle, Kristen, Kacey and Kellen. One of her greatest joys was cooking for her family, but especially on holidays. There were always enough leftovers for her family to have meals for days afterwards. She especially enjoyed baking cookies, breads, caramel rolls, lefsa, and the family favorite homemade buns and knoephla soup. Her extensive collection of cookbooks with little notes written in the margins will be the delight of the children that get to sort them. Seriously…you should see the collection! Holidays, especially Christmas, would result in multiple containers full of goodies that would overflow to the porch to stay frozen because she ran out of freezer space. She especially loved when she would bake to stock the freezer so that she had cookies when company came, but would find only a single cookie available because the kids had figured out how to open the freezers quietly and eat the frozen cookies without being spotted.
As she aged and her need to bake and cook in large quantities decreased she found some hobbies. She liked to play solitaire with a deck of cards, but she then discovered a whole new level of enjoyment when solitaire was installed on their first computer. She couldn’t navigate the computer anywhere past turning on solitaire, but she could maneuver the computer mouse with swift accuracy, evidenced by the rapid click click click sound coming from her right hand. When solitaire became boring she discovered she could spend hours at a time getting lost in fabric stores. She never went into one without finding something that needed to go home with her. Many family members received handmade table runners, pillow cases, hanging bed organizers and microwave bowl hot pads throughout the years. She would spend hours watching sewing videos online and find new projects that she wanted to try, which led to never knowing when the mailman was going to show up with a new box of sewing notions. She loved to play bingo, spending many Saturday evenings at the Legion in Velva and then as many times a week as possible at the nursing home.
Coming from a large family, marrying into a large family, and then creating a large family of her own she always had kids around. All of her daughters, and even some granddaughters, have inherited her standing rock and her rhythmic humm to soothe babies. She loved being surrounded by children, sometimes the louder the better. She had so much patience, especially when it was teaching the young kids life skills such as how to slide your teeth out of your mouth and burping the ABCs. She babysat many grandkids, and when they weren’t available for her to spoil she would nanny for other families in the area and make them her own. Needed a dog sitter? She was the lady. Her heart continued to grow, just like her family. She was a friend to everybody, always ready to care for those in need. Everyone that met her instantly loved her and knew that she was an exceptional mom and person.
With her nature being so empathetic, she was a natural caregiver. She had a soft spot for animals, even the amphibians that would manage to find a home in the house. There were multiple occasions where you would find an animal laying on a heating pad in the house. She would make the trek to the sheep barn during lambing season and was able to pull lambs by herself when the ewes were struggling. Over the course of her adult life she most valued people and shared love and compassion with everyone she met. She enjoyed working with home health patients and was a caregiver for a family friend for several years. At one time she worked as a certified nursing assistant at the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva, which is where she was able to continue touching lives and making friends during her stay from 2020 until the Lord decided to take her home.
She was preceded in death by: her parents, her mother and father-in-law Ed and Helen Krueger, her sister Linda King, her brothers Darrell, Jerry, Virgil, Boyd, and Laverne “Bub” Ellsworth, her son-in-law Rodney Venturino, and several other extended family members.
:She is survived by her husband, Kenny; sons Kevin (Mary), Kyle (Megan), Kacey (Mehgan), and Kellen (Bev) Krueger; daughters Karla (Randy) Spencer, Karmell (Joel) Newman, and Kristen (Joel) Striha; grandchildren Ashley, Michael (April), Derek (Brekka), John (Amanda), Nicole, Andrew (Lora), Jamie (Ryan), Danielle (Levi), Jaylen (Josh), Ashtyn (Chase), Carter, Parker (Kadrien), Mason, Harrison, Ella, Maddux, Traiven, Nola, Koy, and Evalyn; great grandchildren Mariah, Zachariah, Uriah, Kendra, Bailey, Baxter, Aria, Mila, Aurora, Briella, Nora, Raylee, and baby boy due mid-July; sister Lynette Ellsworth, aunt Luella Shjerve, and many brother and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends who loved her.
Love you more, Memaw Dodo.
Public Visitation: Wednesday, July 12th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Journey Church in Minot.
A private family service and celebration of life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Souris Valley Care Center Activity Department or to the family to purchase treats for the staff that took such amazing care of Tata.”