Donna Kruse, 60, loving wife, mother, grandmother and best friend passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2020 after a 30-year long battle with kidney disease. She was the daughter of the late Nicholas and Victoria Tarasco. Residing in New Dorp until her death, Donna was born in Brooklyn on September 5, 1959, and lived in the Gravesend section until she moved to Staten Island with her husband and young family in 1985.
Donna was the beautiful wife and best friend of John Kruse, who loved and cherished her every day of their 40 year marriage, the adored mother of Adam, Brandon and Victoria, the wonderful mom-in-law of AnnMarie Priolo and Rocky Bandara, and the beloved and funny “Grammy” to little grandsons, Johnny and Michael. She was revered by a large extended family, including her sister, Marie Misiti, nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends who became family to her.
The great loves of Donna’s life were her husband and their family. The depth of that love was the source of Donna’s strength and courage to overcome a myriad of medical challenges and setbacks that plagued the last half of her life. Her irrepressible positivity, humor and great spirit inspired everyone who knew her from family members and dearest friends to casual acquaintances. Her approach to managing complex illness seemed to often defy sound medical advice as she was determined to live life on her own terms -- never allowing her struggles with 26 years on hemodialysis or any of the associated complications to define her or cast a shadow on her activities or relationships. During her children’s early school years, in between three times per week dialysis treatments Donna volunteered as lunchroom monitor, school librarian and baseball mom. She attended nearly every school event, dance lesson and recital and made countless friendships along the way. Donna loved and cherished her friends and her friends loved and cherished her back. She would always be the first to ask “how are you” with her signature cheery voice rather than talk about the fears and struggles she faced on a daily basis. She was nothing short of an amazing woman with an ability to lift anyone’s spirits and motivate anyone to be brave and confront their own challenges. Later in life, she often volunteered to help new end stage renal disease patients adjust to life-saving hemodialysis treatments. Her strong light brightened the world and she will be greatly missed but recollection of her indomitable spirit will be her most enduring legacy for everyone who knew her.
The family is forever grateful for the care given Donna by the many medical professionals she encountered throughout the decades of her illness and, in particular, Drs. Robert Grossi, Vincent Mustacuiolo, and Meilin Zhang, the teams of the Richmond Kidney Center, Visiting Nurse Service of NY, and Richmond County Ambulance Service, all of whom provided a level of compassionate care that was second to none.
Donna was blessed with a miracle to have lived long enough to see her family grow and to have grandchildren. She and “her” John created a truly wonder life together in spite of endless health challenges. A wake and celebration of Donna’s life is planned for Thursday, July 2, 2020, at the Colonial Funeral Home, 2819 Hylan Boulevard, and 10:00 am Mass on Friday, July 3rd, at St. Christopher’s Church, 130 Midland Avenue, followed by interment in Moravian Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Donna Kruse to the American Kidney Fund (AKF), kidneyfund.org.