BAXTER, Minn. -- Ray Krueger’s family and fellow Minnesota State Patrol troopers will never forget the sacrifices the 47-year-old man made nearly 60 years ago.
And now anyone traveling on a 15-mile stretch of Highway 210 between Baxter and Motley will never forget, either, as this portion of the highway was dedicated as the “State Trooper Ray Krueger Memorial Highway.”
Krueger, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper, died Nov. 20, 1959, while on duty as a result of injuries in a crash along Highway 210, west of Brainerd in Cass County. Krueger left behind his wife Alyce to raise five children at the time of his death on a $120 per month pension.
Law enforcement and family have worked with local legislators for the past two years to dedicate the 15-mile stretch of highway to Krueger, and have finally succeeded.
“I am so thankful you didn’t let this go,” said Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, who authored the bill, to the family Monday, Oct. 21, during the highway dedication event at the Minnesota State Patrol Brainerd District Office in Baxter. “Yes, it has been 60 years, in a month it will be 60 years, but we didn’t forget. And we shouldn’t forget the work the police officers do, our veterans and the fire departments folks do. We should never forget that they put themselves in harm’s way.
“You (the family) kept coming down, sharing your personal story and that is what really makes a difference. The story of your grandfather’s … service is amazing and he had an influence on the road. Making it safe for all of us.”
Capt. Joseph Dwyer of the state patrol’s Brainerd district opened the event by thanking everyone in the audience, from Krueger’s family consisting of four generations, to friends and law enforcement officers in the lakes area. Dwyer said there were many people involved in making the dedication a reality.
The Minnesota State Patrol Fraternal Order of Police, Minnesota State Patrol Supervisors Association, Minnesota State Troopers Association, Minnesota State Patrol 59th Academy, Lakes Area Lodge No. 11 Fraternal Order of Police and the Crosby Fire Department all donated money for the cause that paid for the signs.
There are two signs on each end of the highway stretch to keep Krueger’s name alive.