Service for Mr. Ed. F. Kruse, former Blue Bell CEO and supporter of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Brenham High School. Mr. Kruse died Wednesday in College Station at the age of 87.
Mr. Kruse was 13 when he began working for his father, E.F., at Blue Bell wrapping ice cream sandwiches by hand. After Kruse graduated from Texas A&M University with a dairy science degree in 1949, he took a different career path before returning to Blue Bell full time in 1951 at the urging of his father, who was then Blue Bell’s manager.
After his father died that same year, Mr. Kruse became secretary/treasurer at the creamery. He was named president and general manager in 1968 and in 1986, he was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Mr. Kruse retired from Blue Bell in 1993, but continued to serve as chairman of the board until 2014.
While at Texas A&M, Mr. Kruse was a varsity letterman in swimming, a member of the Corps of Cadets and honored as a Distinguished Military Student. In 2002, he was honored by Texas A&M with the College of Agriculture and Life Science Outstanding Alumni Award. He was inducted into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor in 2003. In 2006, he was honored with the Distinguished Texas in Agriculture award.
“I’m saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and outstanding alumnus, Mr. Ed. F. Kruse. He was a visionary in the agriculture and food industry, a friend to his community and a devoted supporter of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” said Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences.
“A true advocate for agriculture, he educated thousands of people through tours of the Blue Bell plants and his work with national industry associations,” Hussey continued. “In addition, he directly supported our students not only with scholarships and field trip funding, but with personal access to his business insights and time.”
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Kruse and honors his contributions to agriculture at Texas A&M University and beyond.
For more information on Mr. Kruse and his services: