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Marialice "Mimi" Cruse

Obituary for Marialice "Mimi" Cruse

September 17, 1935 - April 6, 2020
Avon Lake, Ohio | Age 84

Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Friend

Obituary

Marialice Stuck Cruse
September 17 1935 - April 06, 2020

On a sunny early April morning with birds singing and her loving children at her side, Marialice Stuck Cruse, formerly of Power WV and Westlake OH, and most recently of Avon Lake OH, died peacefully after an unexpected diagnosis of advanced colon cancer.

Mimi, as she was forever known, was born in Power WV on September 17, 1935, the daughter of the late Albert Clayton Stuck and Enid Turley Stuck, the fourth of five children. One of her fondest memories of childhood was attending 4H Camp with her siblings. She also recalled helping with the efforts at home in World War II collecting metal cans and mixing yellow dye into vegetable shortening. While attending Wellsburg High School she was a majorette with the marching band and performed with the drama club. After graduation she continued her studies at Marietta College in Ohio. There she was on air with campus radio station WMRT, a proud member of Sigma Kappa sorority, 1955 Fiesta Queen. She graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and other fraternal orders in 1957 with a BS, teaching degree in Speech, English and French. While at Marietta she met the love of her life, Donald Cruse, Jr. who enrolled following a career with the US Army after WWII. Their fall courtship, led to wedding bells in Power WV on December 29th, 1956. While Don finished college, Mimi taught Speech and English at Marietta High School.

After Don's graduation, they moved to Euclid OH where he began working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and Mimi cared for their first child. They moved to Bay Village OH and then to Westlake OH where they raised their 3 children and lived for 43 years. Mimi was a substitute teacher for the Bay Village and Westlake public schools. She worked as a medical transcriber at Bay View Hospital, and moved with them to St. John & Westshore Hospital serving as the Medical Staff Coordinator and Administrative Assistant to the CEO until her retirement in 1992. She was a pioneer in this field, helped build some of curriculum of the National Association of Medical Staff Services and also served as president of the organization in 1990-91. Mimi was on the faculty with NAMSS leading seminars and teaching college credit courses.

Taking to Don's love of sailing she was active at the Cleveland Yachting Club (CYC) in Rocky River OH, where she crewed with Don and was a successful racer with the Wet Hens. Her theatrical talents were shared as part of the cast and creative team for the annual summer Regatta Shows. She founded the CYC chorus that became the backbone of the regatta show each year. Affectionately known as the "Dragon Lady", she led over 40 singers in the annual Commissioning Ceremony and Christmas concerts, as well as the opening ceremony of the 75th Star Worlds. She was a gracious "first lady" at CYC when Don became commodore for the club's 100th anniversary year in 1978. Many summer afternoons were spent aboard their last sailboat Blew-By-You, a C&C 30, and VoilĂ !, a classic 1971 Chris Craft. Don and Mimi also enjoyed other activities with their children and friends, including golf, skiing, tennis and many vacations in the northern Abaco Islands of the Bahamas.

In the larger community, Mimi was very involved in many aspects of the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Huntington Reservation serving as Women's Board President from 1966-68, and co-chaired the summer Barefoot In The Park festival for several years. Mimi was a member of the Citizens' Advisory Committee to the Westlake School Board, 1970-72. She performed in community theater with the Clague Playhouse and Huntington Playhouse, and most recently with Three Arts Club of Lakewood. Mimi served as an Elder, Chair of the Congregation, and member of the choir at Westlake Christian Church, leading theatrical productions there, too. When Don and Mimi moved to Avon Lake, they joined Avon Lake United Church of Christ where Mimi became totally immersed in ALUCC ministries, and especially enjoyed her time with the bell choir.

Mimi is probably best remembered for her service and ministry to and with others. Her joyous smile, infectious laughter, spunky personality, delightful teller of jokes, and unceasing hospitality filled the community with love. She was always ready with a picnic basket at CYC and inviting friends for dinners in and out. Big parties included a song-themed costume party for New Year's Eve, neighborhood block parties, and themed fund raisers for charities including Leukemia Foundation the Cleveland Christian Home and Robert Page Singers.

Mimi was predeceased not only by loving husband of 63 years Donald Cruse, Jr., but also by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law Shirley and William Lokey, and sister and brother-in-law Audrey and Joseph Sperlazza, brother and sister-in-law Mickey and Jane Stuck, and sister-in-law Gloria Dean Stuck.

She is survived by her brother Albert Carter Stuck, sons Brian Cruse (Lisa), William Cruse (John Deuel) and Connie Hippler (Brian), grandchildren Samantha Cruse Orlosky (Thomas), Carter Cruse, Jess, Allie, and Will Hippler, great grandchild Noah, and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces/nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be announced on the website to take place at Avon Lake United Church of Christ at which time the family will greet friends. Private family interment.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you consider donations be made in Mimi's memory to Avon Lake United Church of Christ 32801 Electric Blvd Avon Lake, OH 44012 https://avonlakeucc.org/ ; Macular Degeneration Research: American Macular Degeneration Foundation - https://www.macular.org/ or Bright Focus https://www.brightfocus.org/research/macular-degeneration-research-program

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Avon Lake United Church of Christ
    32801 Electric Blvd.
    Avon Lake, OH 44012

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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

163 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, OH 44012
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