Harold “Super” Cruson was born August 17, 1938 in rural Hardin County, Illinois. He was the youngest child of Dan and Addie (White) Cruson and was welcomed by older siblings Wesley, Ellen and Charlie. Though Harold was the baby of the family, he was the largest. He reportedly weighed over ten pounds when he was born. When his father saw him for the first time he said he was “super” like Superman because he was so big. The nickname stuck and he was forever known as Super.
Music was a part of every day life in the Cruson household. The Cruson children were taught to play instruments by their mother, Addie, and Super picked up the guitar at age three. Playing guitar would be a passion he kept throughout his entire life. The Christian faith was also very important in the Cruson family. Super was baptized in 1984 at the age of 46. It has been said that day was the only time anyone saw his mother shed a tear.
Super grew up in the hills of extreme southeastern Illinois. On September 19, 1964 he married Alma “Toots” Collier. They enjoyed fifty-two years of marriage before her passing in 2016.
Super was drafted in 1961. He served for eight years in the United States Army including a deployment to Karlsruhe, Germany. After his military service, Super worked for over twenty years in the mining industry and was then employed by the highway department for thirteen years. He retired in 2001.
Super had a long and storied musical career and was an accomplished guitar player. While stationed in Germany, he accompanied Tex Ritter for two musical tours. He also worked with Ernest Tubb, Hee-Haw’s David “Stringbean” Akeman and numerous other Nashville artists. Super named Chet Akins as his musical influence and Akins’ song “Walk Right Back” as his favorite song to play. Though he played all over the country, and even the world, Super truly loved playing with family and friends. From the family gospel group The Evangelaires to local festivals to the Rosiclare and Eddyville jam sessions, Super played his music for as long as he was physically able.
In 2021, Super was named Grand Marshal of the Fluorspar Festival Parade. In an interview with the Hardin County Independent, he was asked if he had any regrets regarding his musical career. Super said “I had lots of opportunities, some I got cold feet, some I didn’t want to do. To make a short story out of it, I didn’t want to leave my wife. If you had the chance to walk out here and be on a platform and be on top of the world or stay down on the bottom level and be normal, which would you do? Fame comes with a heavy price, sometimes fatal. I always thought about that. It’s a tough decision when you really get down to it.”
Harold “Super” Cruson departed this life on Sunday, July 9, 2023 – thirty-nine days shy of eighty-five years of age.
In addition to his parents and wife, Super was preceded in death by his brother Wesley and wife Mary Cruson; sister Ellen and husband Bill Carr; and brother Charlie Cruson. Left with special memories of his life and music are several loving family members and countless special friends.
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m., Thursday, July 13th, 2023 at Hardin County Funeral Service in Rosiclare, IL with interment in Fluorine Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5-8 p.m., Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. until service time Thursday at the funeral home.
Military Rites will be provided by the Paul C. Rowan American Legion Post #571 at the cemetery on Thursday.
To purchase flowers and gifts locally, visit www.RosiclareFlowerBasket.net .