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Former School Board President Fran Kruss Dies

A former nurse, community activist and champion for education died on Sept. 15, 2012.

Frances "Fran" Kruss, an advocate for children and health, died recently Mountain View Patch has learned.

While the details of her death are not yet available, Kruss died on Sept. 15, according to the California Locksmith Association. Her husband, Jerry Kruss, is a member and owns Certified Lock & Safe Inc. in Palo Alto.

Fran began her service to the Mountain View community in the 1980s.

A critical care registered nurse, Fran was elected to the Whisman School Board and served from April 1990 until November 1994. In 1995, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) honored Fran, along with others in education within the 14th congressional district, and read her name into the congresssional record.

Fran served as the district's president in 1999, before the merger with the Mountain View School District—a process she called a "challenge"—and then served as president of the combined Mountain View Whisman School District. She retired as trustee, after a total of 16 years of service to the Whisman School District and Mountain View Whisman School District, in December 2006.

Throughout, Fran found time to serve on the board of directors of the Community Health Awareness Council and as representative of the Santa Clara County School Boards Assoc. for the Whisman School District. She was also a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Fran is survived by husband Jerry and daughter Jennifer Kruss, a teacher at Palo Alto Community Child Care.

Ellen Wheeler October 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Thank you for showing honor and respect for Fran with this article showcasing her life. When I first ran for a seat on the Mountain View Whisman School District Fran was running for re-election. I learned then how the community held her in high esteem. She was generous with her time and support to me then. And later, when I was on the board, she was a gentle example of outstanding, caring board service. Two things in particular stand out for me from that around that time: it was Fran who took the leadership during the merger of the Mountain View and Whisman School Districts to insist that the new name of the newly merged district include Whisman in its name. (There were, and still are, some intelligent people in our town who thought we should get rid of the name "Whisman" and just call the new district "Mountain View." Whenever this issue raises its head, I remember Fran [and Juan Aranda] who wanted us to show respect for the old Whisman part of town.) The second is the leadership she demonstrated as we all grappled with how to close a school. Fran kept reminding us that we needed to remember the under-served kids in our community. Rest in Peace, Fran Kruss. And to Jerry and Jennifer, thank you for sharing her with us.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I learned a lot about Fran as I researched her life. I look forward to reading the comments people leave about how they will remember her. Thanks for your comment Ellen!

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