She was born June 2, 1935, in Walnut to Ross Nyle and Henrietta Elwanda (Inman) Stephens. She grew up and attended school in Walnut.
On July 5, 1952, she married Wayne A. Cruse in Eureka Springs, Ark. The couple lived in various areas across the U.S. while he was working in construction. They returned to Southeast Kansas various times through the years and always considered this area to be home. In 1992, they moved back to Kansas, where they had lived since. He preceded her in death Feb. 6, 2001.
She enjoyed needlepoint, crocheting, sewing, wild bird feeding and playing with her Chihuahua, BeBe.
Survivors include four sons, Randall W. Cruse and his wife, Linda, of Lake Quivira, Ricky L. Cruse and his wife, Gina, of Fort Scott, Robert S. Cruse of Hammond and Rodney S. Cruse and his wife, Anita, of Belvue; three daughters, Sheryl A. Birkner and her husband, Steve, of Macks Creek, Mo., Kandi K. Neal and her husband, Mike, of Mound City and Tonya Wratchford and her husband, John, of Fort Scott; 21 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Harold Stephens of Macks Creek, Mo.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Charity Shields.
The service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons. Burial will be in Springhill Cemetery near Parsons. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society and may be left at or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.