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Passages: Harold Kruchen: 1934 2012
March 22, 2012 - By Sue Hannan, with Trudi and Jennifer Kruchen
PHOTO COURTESY OF TRUDI KRUCHEN
Harold Kruchen was a charming man who attracted many friends; he called Topanga home for most of his life.
Harold was born to Maria and Anton Kruchen on September 6, 1934, in Neuss-Reuschenberg, Germany. He is survived by his wife Gertrud (Trudi), daughter Jennifer, sister Karin and her husband Heinrich, nephews Oliver and Thorsten. He had most of his formal education in Germany in the structural steel industry. In 1955 he left Germany for Montreal, Canada. There, he worked various jobs (like picking tobacco leaves) until he ended up again as a designer in the steel construction industry. When he watched the Rose Bowl one New Years Day, and saw people wearing short sleeves in the middle of the winter, he had to see the place with his own eyes. After spending two winters in Canada, he packed up and moved to California and made his home in the Los Angeles area where he stayed. Here he lived in various places until he ended up in his beloved Topanga where he lived for most of his life. The construction industry was his passion. He worked on bridges and steel buildings and built several houses in Topanga. When he was younger, he was also member of the Chamber of Commerce. While he was doing construction, he was working as an insurance agent.
His charming personality attracted many people. He brought happy memories to many friends. He also liked to go to social functions. He was a member of the German-American Club in Santa Monica, where he played Skat (a German card game) for several years. He belonged to two ski clubs. He liked to do physical activities especially tennis, hiking, and skiing. He enjoyed back packing in the Sierras and Alps. He also liked traveling the world. After his father died, he took his mother on several cruises and trips. He went on many cruises. He often traveled with others and all had a good time. He loved his family, especially his wife and daughter. He was true to his commitments and tried to treat every person fairly.
Harold started a family late in life, because he wanted to be sure to marry the right woman. His wife and his daughter were very important to him. He was supportive in every aspect, helping out in school and neighborhood.
He will be missed by a great number of people.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, March 10 at St. Mels Parish in Woodland Hills. A memorial gathering on the same date took place at the Mountain Mermaid in Topanga.