AUBURN, Ind.' Kruse International founder Russell W. Kruse, whose auction company has grown into one of the world's largest collector car auction firms, has died at age 85.
Kruse died May 4 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne of a massive stroke, Dave Feller, the president of the Feller and Clark Funeral Home in Auburn, said.
In 1952, Kruse established an Auburn real estate and auction business with his father-in-law, Lester Boger.
During the past 55 years, it's grown into a premier collector-car auction company, selling more than 13,000 cars each year at events that draw crowds eager to see and bid on classic and celebrity cars.
Russell Kruse had slowed down in recent years after a stroke eight years ago, but he still enjoyed hunting and fishing.
In addition to his son, Dean Kruse, Kruse's survivors include his wife, Lyubov Koutsova, three other sons, two daughters, two sisters and 22 grandchildren.