Theodore Raymond Krueger, Jr. (Ted), age 68, died peacefully at his home in Dripping Springs, Texas on January 21, 2021 with his devoted family gathered around him. He had fought valiantly for years against prostate cancer. The family hopes to plan a celebration of his life in the near future when family and friends can safely gather.
Ted was born in Austin, Texas on July 28, 1952 to Ted Krueger, Sr. and Wanda Glenn Krueger, welcomed by his four-year-old sister Kathy. In 1970 he graduated from Lanier High School. After studying one year at Sam Houston State University, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July 1971. Ted served a tour of duty in Viet Nam as a gunner’s mate onboard the destroyer USS Towers earning the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon. He separated from active duty in January 1974 and served an additional four years in the Naval Reserves with an Honorable Discharge. Although Ted was exposed to Agent Orange in the Viet Nam War leading to the designation of his cancer diagnosis as service connected, he was a patriot and was always proud of his service to his country. Those years in the Navy shaped his life and were an integral part of the honorable man he was.
After his active service discharge, Ted enrolled at Southwest Texas State University. There he met the love of his life, Terri Vaught, on August 24, 1974. They married on August 2, 1975 and eventually had three sons: Ryan Robert Krueger (1977), Justin Raymond Krueger (1980), and Eric James Krueger (1984). At the time of his death, Ted had six grandsons (Roman, David, Theo, Robert, Nicolas and Denver) and one granddaughter (Ellianah). He and Terri had been married 45 years.
After their marriage, the couple moved to Odessa, Texas and transferred to The University of Texas Permian Basin. Ted graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology in August 1978. After graduation, the couple moved back to Ted’s beloved Central Texas. He began his career in insurance claims and retired after serving as branch claims manager in Arlington and Austin. His true passion though was his art. Ted was an accomplished pen and ink artist as well as an avid photographer. He was known for the beautiful art he created with his camera, and his work will live on.
Ted and Terri moved to Smithville, Texas in 1998 where Ted’s parents had been raised and where he had spent youthful summers at his grandparents’ homes. The couple loved their life on the Colorado River in this beautiful little town, where they made dear friends and worshipped in their beloved First United Methodist Church. Always watching out for Terri, Ted arranged for the couple to move to Dripping Springs in 2019 to be in the midst of their sons and their families during his remaining time on earth.
Ted was a gentle soul and a good man. He loved his Lord, his family, his friends, music, art, Texas Longhorns football, a fine cigar, and a good laugh. When he made friends, it was for life. At the time of his passing, Ted was still close with friends from elementary school, high school, college, the Navy, his employment, his church, and Smithville. If the true measure of a life is in the relationships we forge, Ted led a very successful life and left a wealthy man.
Ted and Terri planted red oaks at each of their homes over the years. Ted was known to go visit those trees when he was in the area. In his honor and memory, his family has planted a red oak on their Dripping Springs property. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Ted be remembered with the planting of a tree or a donation to the charity of the giver’s choice.
Ted was predeceased by his parents Ted R. Krueger, Sr. and Wanda Glenn Krueger and his sister Kathy. He is survived by his wife Terri Jean Vaught Krueger, his sons and daughters-in-law, Ryan and Tawni Krueger, Justin Krueger, Eric and Maria Krueger, grandsons Roman, David, Theo, Robert, Nicolas and Denver, granddaughter Ellianah, and many nieces and nephews.
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