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Pinewood Remembers Beloved Alumnus

ALEX BANNING

WEB EDITOR

   Pinewood graduate Andrew Kruep was the type of guy you hoped would be your friend in high school: He was kind, funny, athletic, and an involved Pinewood student.

   “Andrew was a family man; he was a friends man,” math teacher Christine Walters said. “He was socially focused, hilarious, a kidder; he was the kid in the class you had to shoot down sometimes because he was too funny. He was a bright kid. He learned quickly. He had a math mind, a problem solving mind, and was always full of life.”

   Kruep, a 2009 graduate of Pinewood School, died April 17 while off-roading in a jeep with friends. The jeep rolled over and fell down a ravine in Lockwood, CA; Kruep was the only passenger to die in
the crash.

   His death has stunned the Pinewood community, who remember him as a stellar student who also had the ability to hit hard on  the football field. Kruep played defense on the football team during the first year that Pinewood offered the sport.

  “One time, he made a tackle and he just drove the guy into the ground and I remember thinking ‘Wow. If I was the ball carrier I don’t want to go anywhere near him next time,’” said math teacher Scott Green, who also was Kruep’s senior advisor. “He played football with a real passion, and he just loved playing defense. That’s the first thing that I thought of when I heard
he died.”

   After graduating from Pinewood, Kruep attended Willamette University, transferring to St. Mary’s College two years later. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 2014. After college, Kruep worked for Land Science Technology as the Northwest District Manager.

Kruep’s sister Julia graduated from Pinewood in 2011.

   His senior year at Pinewood, Kruep finished his football season with an average of 5.2 tackles per game, three fumble recoveries, two sacks, and an overall ranking in the top 80 in the state, according
to maxpreps.com.

   Activities director and assistant football coach Jackee Bruno said Kruep could get physical on the field at times.

   “One of the things I remember about him is that he broke his hand. We all thought that somebody stepped on his hand during a fall or something like that, but he admitted it: He said that he punched someone in the hip,” Bruno said.

   The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ronald McDonald House Stanford, found at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1432543. Kruep volunteered there nearly every Sunday for more than two years.

   Pinewood principal Mark Gardner said he wished he would have gotten to know Kruep better.

   “With people like Andrew, I only see them once in a while. I know as a teacher you get a closer feeling with the student, and that’s the one thing I miss about being the teacher or the coach,” Gardner said. “I’m just on the periphery, and when people like Andrew go through [Pinewood] and tragically [die] I just wish I got to know him better. I wish I had just taken more time.”

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