Parker Kruse’s family honors him in memorial, looks toward future

BLACK EARTH, Wis. — Parker Kruse’s family and friends have spent the past five months talking about him in the past tense, telling stories to keep his memory alive. Today, though, things were different.

The Kruse family held a memorial today for the 22-year-old, lost in the Wisconsin River while trying to help a fellow boater this summer. His body has yet to be recovered.

Parker’s godmother and aunt, Toni Johnson-Kropp says that the family will never stop looking for the boy she describes as a silly kid with chubby cheeks and wild hair.

 “He was something else,” sad Johnson-Kropp. “Definitely a prankster, funny guy, always doing anything to make you laugh.”

Finding Parker isn’t the end of the story, though. If anything, it’s the beginning.

The family intends on forming a water rescue team for the river valley area, something that currently doesn’t exist.

“I know Parker’s not going to be the last one to fall into the river,” said Johnson-Kropp. “Maybe we can make a difference for another family.”

Although Parker has yet to be found, the family also says they’re grateful for the things they have found: Support and connections.

“We’ve been in contact with so many people that we never would have been otherwise,” said Johnson-Kropp. “It’s amazing the gratitude we have as a family.”