Bill Kruger, a consummate volunteer and former Chino Hills councilman, died Feb. 26 in Yorba Linda at a memory care facility where he had been a resident since 2017.
He was born Oct. 23, 1945 in Chicago.
Mr. Kruger, 73, was known for his volunteerism when he served on the Chino Hills City Council, doing everything from wearing a Dr. Seuss hat while visiting schools to driving his 9-foot-high, two-ton troop transport vehicle to military events.
He was elected to the city council in 2000 and served through 2012, including two terms as mayor. He served on the planning commission from 1996 to 2000.
Mr. Kruger, a retired engineer, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University and an MBA from National University.
He became the city’s water expert, serving on several regional water boards.
He also served on the McCoy Equestrian Committee, the Healthy Cities Steering Committee and the L.A. County Fair Community Committee.
He was the Chino Valley Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2005 and L.A. County Fair’s community hero in 2006.
His wife, Janet Kruger, said he was extremely proud of co-founding the Chino Valley Young Marines where his passion was helping youth, especially those from troubled families.
Mrs. Kruger said he was focused, single-minded, a problem solver and the most determined person she ever met.
He served in the U.S. Marines from 1966 to 1969. He was active in the American Legion Chino Post 299 and participated in veterans celebrations.
He transported the Young Marines in his vehicle to weekend campouts, parades, and ceremonial functions.
Mr. Kruger was president of the Chino Hills Kiwanis Club for three terms and served one term as Kiwanis lieutenant governor. He also had a leadership role in the Chino Valley Lions Club.
He was active for many years in the Chino Hills Citizens Patrol where he served as commander. He patrolled the streets and made snow cones at every concert in the park.
He attended almost every school assembly at the former Los Serranos Elementary School in Chino Hills where he served as auditor on the PTA and won the continuing service award.
He spoke in the classrooms, took photos at school events, donated pumpkins to kindergartners, turkeys to needy students and their families, and brought candy canes and cookies for students at Christmas.
He led a door-to-door survey in Carbon Canyon to collect data for use in an emergency, which won the National Association of Counties Achievement Award in 2005.
He assisted the Chino Rotary Club in the production of the reissued historical book “Chino Valley: Where Everything Grows.”
He served on the board of the Citizens for Kids Foundation for the school district and the YMCA board.
He adopted two roads and a trail in Chino Hills for litter pick-up.
Mr. Kruger often said that as an engineer, he was a “bit backward” when it came to the social scene, but he had a soft spot for his cats, loved to build things, created model trains, and had reel-to-reel tapes with World War I songs and other music.
He will be interred at Riverside National Cemetery. Plans are being made for a Celebration of Life.