Whitehouse — Kristine S. Grenda (Pruitt), 63, Whitehouse, Ohio, and Bradenton, Fla., passed away February 11, 2021, at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Toledo.
She was born January 2, 1958, in East Lansing, Mich., to Bernard and Beverly (Swan) Grenda.
She is survived by her daughters, Lauren Wood and Riley Pruitt; mother, Beverly Grenda; significant other, William Brown; grandchildren, Declan Wood and Maya Jones; sister, Karen Killian; and brother, Eric Grenda. Kristine was preceded in death by her father, Bernard Grenda.
Kristine was born on January 2, 1958, in East Lansing, Mich. Her early childhood was spent there, then Allen Park, Mich., until settling in Livonia, Mich., at the age of 11. She was a golden girl with a big smile and a knack for making friends and organizing fun outings. It was an era when neighbor children would come together spontaneously for a game of kickball or softball in the street. Summers were spent at the family cottage near Cadillac. Academics came easily to her, and she especially loved music. She played the clarinet and piano, and sang in Bentley High School's esteemed concert choir. Kris graduated in 1976 as a National Merit Scholar.
After high school, Kris worked as a waitress at the local Bill Knapp's restaurant, then was promoted to assistant manager of the Toledo store. While taking required training in emergency first aid, she discovered a passion for medicine. She pursued training first as an emergency medical technician, then as a paramedic. Kris became a licensed paramedic in Toledo at a time very few women even considered such a career, and even taught emergency medicine at the Medical College of Ohio.
Formerly married to Jeffrey Pruitt of Defiance, Ohio, she was devoted to raising and homeschooling her daughters. Kris and the girls traveled as often as possible, and as they did, she incorporated local history, nature, and architecture into their school curriculum. She also would spend a lot of time volunteering in different ways around her community.
For several years Kris and her family lived on a horse farm. Her favorite place to be was
in the barn or on the back of a horse. Her passion for animals is something many people remember her for. She gained many lasting friendships through the 4H club her daughters were involved in.
Kris was highly active in her church, St John Lutheran, in Defiance Ohio. She volunteered as a fellowship steward and helped raise money. She would put forth any effort she had to help with improvements in the church, and helped with community outreach. Once a week she would host a Bible study for high school-aged kids, who she became remarkably close with. The teens would flock to her house in excitement over her famous baked potato bar and the popcorn machine. But they stayed for her kindness and support. She became like an extra mother to many of the teens she opened her home and heart to.
Kris squeezed more out of life than most of us could imagine. Traveling every chance she had, dining out with family or friends as often as possible, and hosting dinner parties when home. Her love of music and theater never left her, and she went to concerts, plays and musicals as often as she could. She was a friend to many, whether sharing laughter and corny puns, or offering encouragement in a storm.
The family will receive guests Wednesday, February 17, 2021, from 2-7 p.m. at Newcomer - SW Chapel, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419-381-1900), Toledo. A celebration of Kristine's life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Kristine's memory. To leave a special message for Kristine's family, please visit www.NewcomerToledo.com.