Sydney Krugh was born in Allen County, Ohio to Dorotha Coles Krugh and John Taylor Krugh. She was the youngest of three children and was born on June 11, 1939, in a rural farming community. The family soon moved to what they called “the farm” near the small town of Elgin, Ohio where her father farmed and the children, when they weren’t helping with the farm, went to school. Later the family would move into the town of Elgin where they farmed as well.
She graduated from York Township High School and left Elgin soon afterward for the city of Cleveland where she went to school to become a Medical Assistant and lived at the YWCA. During the day she found work at a small company called Electromark that was owned by my father. My father was in a troubled marriage and found himself in the midst of a divorce. Ann, as she became known as my father disliked the name Sydney, was his secretary and one of the few people who remained loyal to him throughout his divorce.
As the divorce dragged on Ann left Cleveland and returned home to Elgin. My father had, by this time gotten a job where he was driving an RV throughout America selling diesel parts and found life on the road in such a large vehicle to be lonely. He wanted someone to travel with him but he had one condition and it was a rather large one. He still had four children and two of them were in college and prep school. His requirement was that whoever traveled with him would help support his children and that any money they made would go to the children first and only after his first children were finished with school, Bruce and Ann could settle down and try for a family. My mother agreed to this condition and she would soon begin traveling in the RV.
On the first trip to Ann’s home in Ohio, my father stayed in the Holiday Inn in Van Wert, Ohio. Having little money he always had a hotplate and a box of canned and dried foods with him. When he returned his hotplate was gone and he threw a fit (and when Bruce threw a fit it was a big one.) He left the Holiday Inn without paying his bill as his belongings had been stolen. Unfortunately, the County did not agree and put a warrant out for his arrest. Knowing no one except Ann he called her and asked her for $500 bail. She had to drive to ask my grandfather to borrow the money to bail the man out of jail that she would marry, that he had never met, and was only 9 years younger than he was.
Ann reluctantly asked her father for the money and upon meeting my father my grandfather said, “it looks like you are going to need a lawyer.”
My father replied, “it looks that way.”
My grandfather said, “I have a lawyer in Van Wert. Let’s go see him.”
When my father met with the lawyer, named Sarge, it turned out that he was not only the lawyer but also the owner of the Holiday Inn. As my father explained the situation Sarge called the housekeeper who admitted that she had thrown the box out because she thought it was junk and the charges were dropped.
As Ann and Bruce traveled the United States in the RV they ended up in Reno, Nevada where my mother hit the nickel jackpot and they got married to celebrate their good fortune in 1972. By 1975, they had successfully paid for the education of my father’s first children and were asked to move to Texas during the oil boom. I was born in April of 1976 and they completed the house in what was then the county in 1977.
I began school in May of 1978, I assume because my mother couldn’t deal with that much togetherness as my father traveled during the week and was only home on the weekends. She became very involved with the school and even was the President of the PTA for a few years. In 1986 she took a paying job at the school and she continued to work there until the summer of 1991 when the new headmaster fired her because he felt that she took the side of the students over the faculty.
She then started working at the University of North Texas in the Advancement Center where she would work until her retirement in 2008.
Ann suffered many health problems throughout her life, including diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, a leg amputation in 2004, a heart attack which showed that the vessels to her heart were damaged and could not be repaired, and Congestive Heart Failure.
She took two cruises to Alaska in 2006 and 2007 and would have continued to work except for UNT, a state University, discriminated against her age and her disability and made it impossible for her to continue. She retired in the summer of 2008. In her spare time, she enjoyed cross-stitching, reading, hearing from the kids that she was a surrogate mother to at the school she worked from 1986-1991, and spending time with her family.
She did not entertain often but she loved to do it and she never once turned anyone away from the house. Her favorite holiday was Thanksgiving where we often had over 20 people, including family, friends, her adopted Japanese son, her adopted Pakistani son, her adopted Muslim-Jewish-Texan daughter, and her adopted son Kelly who helped her in the last years of her life immensely.
She entered the hospital on December 13, 2008, and died on December 15, 2008. Her wish was to be resussictated by all means necessary and I hope that the hospital honored her wishes as they were not very happy about it.
As the saying goes “my mother taught me everything except how to live without her.”