Cover photo for Reinhard Paul-Gunter Kruegel's Obituary
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Reinhard Paul-Gunter Kruegel

June 2, 1939 — September 27, 2023

Reinhard Paul-Gunter Kruegel


   Reinhard Paul-Gunter Kruegel, 84, passed away in Elizabeth City, N.C. on September 27 after a long struggle with the aftereffects of Covid and other health issues. Reinhard was born in Bad Godesberg, Germany to Gottwald Hugo Reinhard and Eleonore (née Hunninghaus) Kruegel on June 2, 1939, the youngest of five children.

   Reinhard is missed dearly by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda Kruegel, his children and grandchildren: Michele (Lincoln Cairns) Kruegel and their daughter, Tallulah; Brian (Jenn) Kruegel and their daughter, Lahna. He also leaves behind his sisters Helga Waldinger, Gudrun Graff, his brother Hartmann Kruegel, numerous in-laws, and nieces and nephews across the United States, Germany, and Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his sister, Lore Grohsgart.

   Reinhard grew up in post-WWII Germany. After serving in the German Navy under NATO from 1957-61 he immigrated to Ontario, Canada where his brother, Hartmann, and his family had established roots. He studied data processing before moving to Chicago in 1963 where he worked during the day at Continental Coffee. At night, Reinhard took classes at Lakeview High School to improve his English.

   Due to his dedication and hard work, Continental Coffee transferred Reinhard to their New Jersey location where he managed the office as well as the data processing and credit departments. This is where he met Linda and they started their family.  

   Reinhard shared his passion for downhill skiing with Linda, Michele, and Brian. As a couple, Reinhard and Linda spent their off-hours ballroom dancing and playing tennis. Reinhard's lifelong love of soccer motivated him to teach his son and anyone else who wanted to learn how to play the game. He turned his passion into action by getting involved with the Princeton Soccer Association and was one of the first parents to bring professional coaching to the fledgling club. A steward of the game, Reinhard blew his whistle or raised his flag as a referee for hundreds of matches at the club and high school levels.

   In 1976, Reinhard became a naturalized US citizen and his name is listed on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor on Ellis Island.

   Reinhard earned his GED at Hackensack High School in N.J., later receiving his BS in Business Administration at Thomas Edison University in 1989. After a fulfilling career at Continental Coffee, he was Vice President of Information Technology at Brunswick Bank and Trust until retiring. Reinhard was at the forefront of computer programming. As a Certified Network Engineer, he contributed to the seamless transition of Y2K spending countless hours testing code and analyzing data. His efforts helped ensure customers had the proper balances in their accounts on January 1, 2000. After retirement, he was happy to remind people of how he paid his dues and didn’t want to troubleshoot problems with cell phones, computers, or television remotes.

   Reinhard and Linda moved to Hertford, N.C. shortly after retiring. They made amazing new friends and filled their time with engaging activities. Reinhard sang bass with the Albemarle Chorale and volunteered for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). He enjoyed playing tennis, golf, and poker, bicycling, bowling, reading voraciously, solving sudoku, and complaining about North Carolina drivers. Reinhard loved going to the opera and enjoyed classical music. He could name any piece playing on the radio and its composer, usually before the DJ announced it.  

   A dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and friend, he was always ready with a glass of champagne to celebrate moments big and small alike. His booming voice and big heart will never be forgotten.

   A Celebration of Life will be held at the Albemarle Plantation early next year.

   Miller & Van Essendelft Funeral and Cremation Providers, 1125 Harvey Point Road, Hertford, is assisting the family with arrangements, and online condolences may be made by visiting


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