Obituary of Martha Lynn Krueger
Martha Lynn Krueger (79 years) passed away in Lakewood, Colorado on November 28, 2023. She lived a long life full of travel, music, and laughter.
Martha was born in Los Angeles, California to Robert and Lucille McKee. Martha was the youngest of three girls who grew up in Pasadena, California. She had two older sisters, Ann and Patsy. Martha graduated from San Marino High School in 1961. She attended community college before setting her sights on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
While at Lewis & Clark, she made friends and became involved in college activities, most notably the choir. She began singing with various groups and built her confidence to sing in front of audiences. Martha graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education. The biggest topic of conversation for years to come was the baby blue 1963 Corvette StingRay graduation gift that her father helped her get. Friends and relatives still talk about that beautiful car and stare off into space.
Martha began teaching PE in an Oregon School District. She heard from a friend about Pan American Airways hiring flight attendants. She traveled to a Pan Am hiring event and was hired on the spot. She said “goodbye” to teaching in schools and began working flights to Hawaii. Her parents were not too pleased that she had left her college-focused career to switch to working for an airline, However, their opinions quickly changed when she took each of them separately on trips around the world, funded by her impressive airline discount.
Martha met the love of her life, Pete, during a layover trip to Hawaii in 1968. Pete was a Marine Corps fighter pilot on a rest & recuperation trip from the Vietnam War. A mutual friend set them up and they had their first date under the banyan tree at The Beach Bar in Waikiki, Hawaii. Pete headed back to the war and Martha continued working for Pan Am flying rest & recuperation flights for American soldiers during the war. They reconnected several months later and never separated again. On April 25, 1970, Martha and Pete were married in The Chapel at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.
Martha traveled the world with Pete. First, they spent months exploring Australia, with Pete putting in flooring during the construction of the Sydney Opera House. They then moved on to New Zealand, where they met lifelong friends. They settled in Newport Beach, California. Martha continued to fly with Pan Am and Pete was both a pilot for Continental Airlines and worked as a local police officer. After a few years, they moved to a family ranch in Littlerock, California where they raised chickens, turkeys, pigs, horses, and dogs. Martha became a PE teacher and Pete continued to fly for Continental Airlines.
In October of 1978, Martha and Pete adopted a baby girl from Texas, Elizabeth (Beth) Ann. In February of 1982, they adopted twin boys, Robert and Tom, also from Texas. Pete accepted a Continental Airlines transfer to fly out of Denver and he and Martha moved the family to the mountains of Pine Junction, Colorado in July of 1983.
Martha held down the fort during Pete’s trips with Continental. The kids were involved in several activities and sports and she shuttled all three around the area every day. She helped with Beth’s Girl Scout troop and drove the kids to Denver for various summer classes at museums and universities and endless sports practices. She joined the local Evergreen Choral in the mid-1980s. She sang with the Choral for over 30 years, until her lungs would no longer allow it. She returned to working in schools in 1991. She began as a kindergarten aide and eventually rose to the role of Music teacher at Deer Creek Elementary. She retired from the Platte Canyon School District in 2006.
Martha settled into retirement well. Her grandson, Tanner, was born in 2008. She immediately began spending a few days a week babysitting him, up until he entered kindergarten. She gave him the gift of time and undevoted attention. Both Martha and Pete poured their hearts into their grandson. During this time, Martha also began an enormous project: Writing a book. Martha’s grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth McKee had begun the first tourist camp, Wylie Way Camps, at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Martha’s dad, Robert McKee, spent his summers at the Grand Canyon. He and his trusty donkey, Brighty, inspired the book Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Martha gathered all of the information and photographs of her family that she could. She paid for more photos of her family’s history to be hung in the Lodge at the North Rim, right above the famous bronze Brighty statue. Bobby, Brighty, and the Wylie Way was published in 2019. Our family was so proud of what she had been able to accomplish after years of research and organization.
Martha was a gentle friend, up for anything. She could talk to anyone wherever she went, no matter the situation. She adored her children and grandson, wanting them around as much as possible. She loved to travel on flights with Peter to wherever he was going. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mom, aunt, grandmother, and friend.
Martha is preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Peter Krueger; her parents, Robert and Lucille (Krenz) McKee; and her sister, Ann (McKee/Warfle) Skartvedt. Martha is survived by her three children, Beth (Wagner,) Robert, and Tom; her grandson, Tanner; her sister, Patsy (McKee) Loughboro; and several nieces and nephews.
A committal service will take place on May 6, 2024 at Fort Logan National Cemetery. In addition, a Celebration of Life will take place after the service.
Details will be updated and shared with friends and family. Please reach out to her children, Beth Wagner or Robert Krueger, if you would like more information. We welcome all friends and family to attend.