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Twila (Matthews) Cruse

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March 22, 2011 | 4,144 views | Offer condolences

Twila (Matthews) Cruse of Guadalupe County, Texas, passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2011.

She was born April 25, 1936, in Lincoln County, Kan., to Ralph and Elsie Matthews.

Twila married her second husband, Dr. Keith H. Cruse, on Feb. 8, 1967.

She was a graduate of Tescott High School in Tescott, Kan., and Kansas Wesleyan University, where she earned a degree as a registered nurse. Twila worked as a nurse in clinics, emergency rooms, surgeries, and nursing homes. She participated in various nursing organizations.

While undergoing rehab in the nursing home, when other residents would call, “Nurse?” she would always answer, “Yes, how can I help you?” That was Twila, always ready to lend a hand. She worked as a nurse for 50 years, retiring at age 70.She raised and showed standard-sized collies and was active in kennel clubs, especially in Salina, Kan. She also was active in horse-rescue projects. Twila loved her goats and had various breeds -- not for consumption. She used her goats and horses with groups from schools and nursing homes that would visit her farm. She loved to trail-ride and taught thousands to ride and appreciate horses.

Her children, Scott and Leslie “Casey,” were her greatest joy, she always said. She was always so proud of us, her daughter said. She practiced tough Irish love, with good results.

Twila always had a smile on her face and was “ready to go!” Her dad said her middle name was Go! She loved life and hated housework and cooking. But she could bake anything and made great pies!

She loved to dance and loved coffee. When she moved to Texas four years ago, she and her daughter promised each other they were done drinking “rotgut” coffee.

“For the last four years of her life, I bought her the best coffee I could find,” Casey said. “We loved tasting them.”

Her last road trip was to a ranch in Wimberley to pick up a new mare. Three weeks before she died, Twila was still appraising horseflesh. A couple of months ago, she sat on her lounger by the round pen, wrapped in several blankets, watching little kids ride horseback.

Her first year in Texas she “worked” at Lone Star Elementary School in New Braunfels as “Coach Grandma.” Her job was to cheer for the children. She loved them and they loved her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her second husband; two brothers, Jack and Danny; and her granddaughter, Tracy Lee Sauls.

Twila is survived by her son, Scott Cruse of Phoenix, Ariz.; her daughter, Leslie “Casey” Sauls of Guadalupe County; a sister, Hazel Van Meter of Ada, Kan., a brother, Glenn Matthews of Salina, Kan.; and two grandsons, Scott Patrick Sauls and Beau Patrick Sauls.

A rosary was recited Monday, March 21, at 7 p.m. in the St. Ann Catholic Church in La Vernia.

Funeral services will take place Monday, April 25, in Ada, Kan.

According to her daughter, Twila’s ashes “will be sprinkled in a pasture she rode in as a girl, where she taught my brother and me to ride. She will ‘dance away’ on the Kansas wind.”

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