James Edward Kruyer, Sr., 97, of Plymouth, IN, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, June 27, 2024, after a brief illness.

James was born on August 18, 1926, to Otto A. and Bessie (Jacoby) Kruyer in Plymouth, IN. He married Patsy A. Kain-Smith on December 27, 1963, and she preceded him in death on September 3, 2005. Jim graduated from Plymouth High School in 1944. He served in the United States Army from March 23, 1945 until December 19, 1946 during World War II, serving the bulk of his time in Korea during the war. Jim had many careers during his long-life including working for NIPSCO, Studebaker, and as a hairdresser. He finally found his calling working in construction and carpentry, owning Kruyer Construction from 1960 never officially retiring from his company. His love of carpentry and his customers are what kept him happy and fulfilled.

James was a member of the American Legion, the VFW of Plymouth, Indiana Bowler’s Association, having bowled in leagues at Quick Lanes for many years. He was also a member and former President of the Conservation Club, as well as a past President of Phi Delta Kappa, and a past Cub Scout leader. He enjoyed mushroom hunting, particularly with his friends, both in Indiana and Michigan. He told many wonderful stories of his mushroom hunting adventures. He enjoyed fishing, ice fishing, pheasant hunting in Iowa and South Dakota, camping and hunting in Canada, carpentry work, and was an avid outdoorsman. Later in life he became an amateur bird watcher.  You would often catch him and his cat Drifter looking out the back picture windows identifying all the different birds and wildlife that would come to congregate in the beautiful gardens created by his wife, Pat.  He loved his family, friends, and his customers.

James is survived by his daughters: Amme (Larry) Girten of Plymouth, IN; Julee Samuels-Alderfer of Rochester, IN; Lorre Samuels-Osborn of Plymouth, IN; Emyle (Michael) Kruyer-Collins of Plymouth, IN; his son, James (Laura) Kruyer, Jr. of Plymouth, IN; 18 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; and his brother-in-law, David Kain.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Otto, and Bessie Kruyer; his son, Michael Samuels; his granddaughter, Jocelyn Schlosser; his sister, Mary Ruth Trump; his brothers, Robert, Raymond, and Louis; and a nephew, Michael Trump.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Deaton-Clemens Van Gilder Funeral Home (300 W. Madison St., Plymouth, IN 46563).

A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at New Oak Hill Cemetery (Plymouth, IN) with Pastor Chuck Krieg officiating.

Burial will take place at New Oak Hill Cemetery (Plymouth, IN) with Military Honors by Plymouth American Legion and VFW.

Thank you to all our friends and community for your support during this difficult time.

Deaton-Clemens Van Gilder Funeral Home is honored to be providing services in celebrating the life of James and wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the family. Deaton-Clemens Van Gilder Funeral Home would also like to thank James for his service in the United States Army.

Friends are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at: www.deatonclemensfh.com.