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Homer Kruckenberg inspires us
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To the editor:

This year, for the first time in 18 years, the name Homer Kruckenberg will not be on the ballot.

The citizens of Great Bend and Barton County need to reflect and thank Homer for 64 years of service to this community:

• 2 years as a veteran in the U.S. Army;

• 44 years as a teacher at Great Bend High School;

• 6 years on the USD 428 Board of Education; and

• 12 years as Barton County Commissioner.

Indeed, Homer has been a warrior in serving his country and in serving the Barton County community! Throughout his service, Homer has reflected strong personal values of integrity, fairness, commitment, a strong work ethic and respect for others.

As a County Commissioner, Homer always kept spending under control and helped maintain good roads and parks, and helped keep Barton County citizens safe.

Being raised a young farm boy just west of Great Bend, Homer tended to his daily chores in the early morning hours before heading off to school. At night on a farm without electricity, he studied by the light of a coal-burning lamp before going to bed. As a student-athlete at Great Bend High School, Homer was a standout tight end for Coach Harry Kline’s dominating football teams back in the early 1950s. He participated in one of the epic football games in GBHS history, a 0-0 tie with powerhouse Hays in 1953. Besides football, Homer was also an outfielder on the State Championship Fast-Pitch Softball team (Highland) in 1958.

Homer attended Kansas State University where he earned a BS degree and Master’s degree in Education and History and he always returned home in the summer for farm work and harvest. Following graduation, Homer served a two-year tour in the U.S. Army and returned back home to Great Bend to become a teacher, part-time farmer, and community leader.

We can only hope there are strong community leaders like Homer Kruckenberg on this year’s ballot. He will be sorely missed.

Homer, best wishes and thank you for your service.

Terry Knowles (GBHS Class of 1956)