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Posted on December 20, 2017 | 2:31 p.m.

Jonathan Erik Krueger of Goleta, 1981-2017

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Jonathan Erik Krueger
Jonathan Erik Krueger

Jonathan Erik Krueger was born on June 7, 1981, in Lansing, Michigan, and passed away on Dec. 3, 2017 in his home in Goleta.

Jon was born 12 weeks premature, but he was a fighter from the beginning, overcoming many health challenges through excellent physicians and caregivers and the prayers of many who loved him, especially his natural mother, Mary Jane Krueger, who gave her life for Jon that he might live.

As Jon grew it became evident that he was a special boy with special needs, but his family delighted in him and rejoiced with every new accomplishment he achieved.

Jon struggled with epilepsy his whole life, but his family fought for him to live the best life possible.

After being lovingly homeschooled early on by his new mother Cynthia Krueger, Jon attended Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia, where he enjoyed various sports activities, especially baseball and basketball.

He attended and graduated from Spotsylvania High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, living with his family in an idyllic community, Fawn Lake.

He loved being on the community swim team, also kayaking, boating and water skiing, paint-ball battles and golf. He shared these activities with younger brothers Christian and Joseph, as only brothers can, including becoming black-belts in Taekwondo.

After high school, with the encouragement and support of his older sisters Amy and Liza, Jon moved to Santa Barbara.

He became involved with WTP (Work-Training Program; now Pathpoint), which assisted Jon with independent living, along with TriCounty Regional Center, which provides disabled clients opportunity and support.

Most recently, TRC representative Mary Dilley provided much help to Jon. While learning to further care for himself independently, Jon worked various part-time jobs at Vons, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

In 2006, the door opened for Jon to work at Costco in Goleta. At Costco Jon became a fixture as a front-end assistant. He held this full-time regular job for more than 10 years, earning his own good pay and benefits.

With his big warm smile, Jon actively engaged Costco members with “Can I help you?”

His family could rarely go anywhere with Jon without someone stopping Jon with the comment, “I know you from Costco,” returning his infectious smile.

Jon was further encouraged by the caring support of Independent Living Institute, especially Janice Pope and Doug Burns; and more recently aides Kevin Mahan and Terry McMillian; and Hayden Consultations, especially Grace Stirling.

Jon enjoyed the pastoral and spiritual care at Calvary Chapel, and further special Christian love that Jim and Pat Stretchberry showed him. They were like family, always there for Jon with his regular calls, needs, and shared meals.

Jon was proud to have his own apartment at Sumida Gardens for more than seven years.

He loved all of his Apple gadgets. He loved romantic movies and funny shows. Jon loved music: oldies like James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Smokey Robinson and Motown, love songs, and Christian worship music.

This last year presented difficult health challenges for Jon. We are thankful that Jon had the best health-care givers in Santa Barbara, especially his primary physician and neurologist, Dr. Phillip Delio.

Jon's father Erik has been especially devoted to Jon’s health throughout his life, and especially in recent years. We, as Jon's family, are grateful for Erik's loving and tireless service toward his son's well-being.

And a special thank you to Jon's brother Christian and fiancée Ashely, who were with Jon when he passed.

Although Jon had been doing well overall, in recent weeks his dark days enlarged, and his path forward — in his mind — continued to narrow.

Jon was a “special-needs guy,” but struggled so much to be normal. He dreamed of having a regular fulfilling life — a wife and family, a decent job, and the ability to make his own way in this life.

In many ways, Jon felt he did not belong to this world, but we are so thankful to have had him with us for 36 years.

Though we grieve deeply, our hope is in knowing Jon is at peace and resting in the loving care of our Lord and Savior Jesus; though a prisoner in body on earth, Jon is now free in the Eternal purposes of God His Father.

With great difficulty, we are slowly adjusting to Jon’s passing, and the new reality of him being with the Lord in heaven. We, his family, will carry him forward in a special place in our hearts until we also will be with him again in the Eternal.

Each of these people survives Jon in his passing, and had a special loving relationship with him:

Sister Amy Clark, married to Randy Clark, and their children Gabriel and Ava, Santa Barbara.

Sister Liza Hughes, married to Chad Hughes, and their children Judah and Silas, Portland Oreg.

Brother Christian Krueger, and fiancée Ashely Harrison, Santa Barbara.

Brother Joseph Krueger and wife Erica Krueger, Meridian, ID.

Jon's father and mother, Erik and Cynthia Krueger, Santa Barbara.

Grandparents Dr. Russell and Betsey Krueger, Broomfield, CO.

Grandmother Patricia Lucas, who loved Jon dearly, Boise ID.

Eternally and heavenly, Jonathan is set apart in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus the Great Shepherd, and hope and faith in the Resurrection of the Dead in Christ (1Corinthians 15; Hebrews 11 and 12).

We had a private family burial for Jonathan on Dec. 15. We will have a celebration of his life later in January.

Jon was passionate for Santa Barbara firefighters, so in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance, SBfirefightersalliance.org.

Arrangements by Welch-Ryce-Haider.

 

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