Fred and Rose Krueger:
Competitive Water-skier/Water-ski Official
Presented to me by Darr Leutz,
I’m writing you in support of my nomination of Fred and Rose Krueger for the 2019 Midwest Region Waterski Hall of Fame. I’m very passionate that they are extremely deserving of this recognition, and in this letter, I hope to convince you and the board of the same.
I did not know Fred and Rose in their early years of water skiing, but after I moved down to Illinois in the late 1980s and early 90s, they were incredibly supportive of me and my families endeavors to learn and grow in the sport not only in Illinois and in the Midwest, but Nationwide! They have become our ski family each and every summer. With their help, we went from weekend-wally-skiers to regional and national competitors, and so now our children carry-on the same passion for the sport.
In the early 1970s, they were show skiers in the Decatur SKI club. Fred would ski on almost anything, jumping and barefooting in the show, and Rose would dole out skis and ski with whatever equipment was left over. She could ski both right and left foot forward back then. Looking for a new challenge, they broke in to competitive waterskiing. Then in the late 70s, they helped to form a club with the Mabry’s, the Hulls, a handful of other waterskiers in the Decatur area at a borrow pit east of town. In 1978 the People Involved in Tournament Skiing or P.I.T.S. was formed with Fred and Rose as founding members. This began the era of private water ski lakes in the Midwest, and since then the PITS have hosted several Midwest Regionals, Illinois State tournaments, and Collegiate Regionals.
Fred was a teacher in Decatur, and Rose worked at A. E. Staley’s in the accounting department. The P.I.T.S. needed a boat, but Correct Craft would not promo a boat in the club’s name, so even though living on a very limited funds Rose and Fred decided to become Ski Nautique promo owners for the club and accepted all risk and liability. Fred would order, purchase, pick up, and deliver the boat personally for over 20 years for the P.I.T.S. Fred and Rose started the Midwest junior development program and many of the MWJD clinics were held at the P.I.T.S. Each year Fred and his helpers collected cans all summer long and especially after collegiate tournaments. He then would turn them in for cash and donate all the funds to the MWJD. They were always giving back to the sport that they love so much.
Fred and Rose waterskied and officiated for the P.I.T.S., Illinois, the Midwest Region, and Nationally for over 40 years! They recently retired from tournament water skiing, but as Senior officials remain very much involved in the sport. They still volunteer their time to attend in officiate many tournaments each year and work in any capacity that they can to help run the tournament. They do this all over the Midwest region and the Nation.
As most of you all know, they were The Quintessential waterski family with humble frugal beginnings, they taught their 3 children how to ski and become tournament skiers. Fred being a shop teacher and excellent with tools, made his own skis for their children. With Five 3-event water skiers, and some of the members of the Krueger family sharing skis, Fred personally told me one year in the ‘80’s that he strapped 18 skis on his pick up truck/camper combo, and headed to the Midwest Regional tournament! Many of you have seen that truck and little camper top, and I still cannot believe that five people and all of their gear would fit!
Nevertheless, Fred and Rose were amazing competitors and would win many medals and awards. In fact, Fred just recently won Men’s 9 slalom at the 2017 Us Nationals in San Marcos, Texas after chasing it for 52 years! The couple produced three incredible waterskiers; all of which became champions and successful skiers in their own right. And so the Krueger Waterski tradition carries on with Lori, Julie, and Freddy‘s families. All 6 of the grandchildren are now tournament skiers.
Again, I’ve only known Fred and Rose’s since the late ‘80’s, but I’ve come to love them and I’m so proud to be a part of their “ski family.” They have been very supportive of me and Dawn and our kids waterski activities, and they never say no when asked to officiate or help at a tournament. They are in my opinion the epitome of what our sport is all about… Family, Friends and the Love for a sport that keeps giving back to all of us in so many ways!
Thank you for your consideration.
Darr Leutz, M.D.