Father William C. Kruegler, MM
Born: October 1, 1930
Ordained: June 8, 1957
Died: August 7, 1962
William C. Kruegler was born in Troy, N.Y. on October 1, 1930. After graduating from Troy’s Catholic Central High School in 1948 William entered Lakewood. He was ordained on June 8, 1957 and assigned to Bolivia.
After language school and work in various missions, he was finally assigned to Our Lady of Mercy Parish in the little town of Montero.
Soon after arrival at Montero Father Kruegler met Manglio Saravia, a native Bolivian. Manglio lived next to the rectory in an apartment where he was illegally selling liquor to children. On several occasions Father interrupted Manglio’s business and finally reported him to the civil authorities who took no effective action. Throughout the summer Father McCabe the Pastor, and Brother Camnillus who was also at Our Lady of Mercy, did all they could to stifle Manglio’s harmful influence. On August 6, 1962 at 4:30 in the morning, Father Kruegler tried for the last time to reason with Manglio.
The next evening at about 7:00 p.m. Father Kruegler returned from the prefecture with Fr. McCabe and a Salesian priest, Fr. D’Ana. Father Kruegler walked to the rectory door alone where the intoxicated Manglio was waiting for him. He asked Father the time of the Rosary that night and then fatally shot him. Father Mc Cabe came immediately to his aid. He called a doctor but Father Kruegler died shortly after.
Bishop Rodriguez of Santa Cruz celebrated a Pontifical Requiem Mass which was attended by more than 15,000 people from far and wide to pay tribute to this young priest. Burial was in the cemetery in Montero.