A TRIP BACK IN TIME
The past, the present, and the yet-to-be.
The past is written and laid away;
The present we're writing every day.
The last and best of volumes three
Is locked from sight; God keeps the key.
When I learned that Dr. Israel Maurice Kruger had passed away on March 30, 2000, it sent me
rushing back in time. Anytime I think of the old Logan General Hospital he comes to mind. After
all, he was our family doctor, and he delivered my first child. He delivered over five-thousand
babies during his years in Logan County.
Dr. Kruger was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on June 4, 1911, and came to the Logan General
Hospital in 1934 to complete his medical residency. In March of 1942 he joined the Country's war
effort by joining the Navy, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After his discharge in
1946 he returned to practice medicine once again in Logan County.
Dr. Kruger married Billie Kathryn Kinzer of Ethel, West Virginia on April 22, 1948. They had
two children, Sarah Leigh Keasey who became a registered nurse, and Michael Preston Kruger who is
an orthopedic surgeon.
first row: Billie Kruger, Helen Moore, Edith Daniels, Jackie Mullins, Doris Chillag
second row: Dixie Vaughn, Henrietta VanHoose, Betty French, Gene Jamison, unknown
back row: Marybelle Starcher, Pearle Steele, Mary Brewer, Jean Ann Stork, Etta Lyons, unknown,
Marg Hamilton, Marie Smith
Doris Geiger-Chillage, age 85, of Charleston died Sunday, August 26, 2007. She is
pictured fifth in the first row above. Dr. Chillag, four sons, ten grandchildren, and three great-
grandchildren Survive her.
Dr. Kruger was the first director of Logan General Hospital's coronary care unit. In 1975,
the hospital auxiliary purchased a sychronized defibrillator for seven-thousand dollars, so
patients would not have to be transferred for this procedure. The machine was mobile allowing
doctors to use it throughout the hospital.
After a twenty-six hour trip from Fort Riley, Kansas, we arrived home. I was three weeks
overdue with our first child. It was Labor Day weekend, which somehow seemed appropriate, but I
couldn't see our family doctor until Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Dr. Kruger dashed my hopes of having the baby before Donald left for Vietnam.
"It could be several days before you deliver. It's certainly not going to be today," he barked.
"But I have to get this baby here before Donald . . . leaves for Vietnam," I whispered. Tears
stung my eyes as I struggled to stay calm. "He leaves in three days. . . . And . . . I can't
bear the thought of him not . . . seeing our ba . . . by.
He dismissed me with, "Babies get here . . . when they get here." I guess they do. Donald took
me for a motorcycle ride at ten that night, and to the hospital at eleven. Our daughter was born
at three-thirty that morning of September 8, 1965. Donald left for Vietnam two days later. I was
still in the hospital.
In 1979, one year prior to his retirement he was named "Mr. Doc of the Year" by the West
Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On August 20, 1994 the Logan
General Hospital honored Dr. Kruger for his sixty years of service, and they named The Kruger
Medical Plaza after him.
Source: Logan Banner, personal pictures, Pamplet - Honoring Israel Maurice Kruger, M.D. by
author and niece of Dr. Kruger, Janet Kinzer Young August 20, 1994