Amazing Women of the Suncoast: Beverly Kruger

VENICE, Fla. -- Beverly Kruger and her husband moved to Venice from New Hampshire in 1957. "He was a policeman in the City of Venice until he couldn't work police work anymore. Then he became a dispatcher for the Venice Fire Department.”

Their only daughter graduated from Venice High School. "She went on to nursing school at State College, got a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration."

Her husband was very active in the Venice Lions Club. And as soon as the Lions Club admitted women in 1987, Beverly joined…and got a warm welcome. "They elected me secretary of the club right off and I served in that capacity for 9 years."

She went on to hold almost every office, including club president.

She also worked at Venice Hospital, but she quit her job when her husband got sick to look after him and focused on her volunteer work with the Lions Club, arranging for people statewide, below the poverty level, to get medical care for eye problems. "I call the doctor involved and we discuss costs of the case."

The Lions Club pays whatever Medicare or Medicaid doesn't cover. "And then I call the facility where the surgery is being done and the anesthesiologist."

She arranged eye care for 222 people in Florida last year.

Meanwhile she has suffered two terrible losses in her own life. Her husband died 13 years ago, and last year her 57-year-old daughter died of a stroke. "My work with the Lions Club kept me going."

She no longer has any close relatives, but the Lions Club has become her family. She's past retirement age now, but…"I'll be there as long as they need me."

Her work with the Lions Club brings her great joy. "The satisfaction that I'm helping people, so hopefully, they won't lose their vision."

And her life lesson? "Take it one day at a time, because the good Lord is watching over us.”