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Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss

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Friday, June 17, 2016 5:21 PM
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
People begin to line up along the motorcade route that will take the remains of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss to Greenmount Cemetery for a private service. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Blue and yellow ribbons and bows were tied along Main Avenue in honor of Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss. Blue and yellow are the colors for the Blue Angels as well as for Fort Lewis College, where Kuss graduated in 2006. Photo by Ann Butler/Durango Herald
Liv Candelaria, 4, waves a flag as Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss’ motorcade passes through Durango on Saturday. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Law enforcement agencies escort the motorcade in honor of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as it makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
People line the motorcade route along Main Avenue on Saturday in Durango to honor Capt. Jeff Kuss. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Veterans line up in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars building on North Main Avenue to honor Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss on Saturday. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Kathy Mousner, who knows the Kuss and Perino families, came out Saturday for the motorcade to honor of Capt. Jeff Kuss. Photo by Ann Butler/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Residents wave flags as the motorcade escorting the remains of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss passes through downtown Durango on Saturday. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Marcos Holley, 5, of Durango waits along the motorcade route to honor Capt. Jeff Kuss on Saturday. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Fort Lewis College Police prepare for the motorcade and memorial events on Saturday for Capt. Jeff Kuss. Courtesy FLC Police
A Marine Honor Guard rehearses for the graveside memorial for Capt. Jeff Kuss at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Upper Pine Fire Protection District along with Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The top fighter jet begins to pull away in the Missing Man formation during the graveside services of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Zoey Schwentner, Evan Ray and Peyton, Carter and Jenna Stephenson welcome Capt. Jeff Kuss home during a motorcade Saturday in Durango. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Chris Gregory commemorates Capt. Jeff Kuss with flags, one of which will be sent to Navy Capt. Melinda Michael, who is serving in Guantanamo. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Janet Kuss waves to the Durango crowds that turned out to honor her son, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Kuss, a Blue Angels pilot, died June 2 in a plane crash. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango
Tourists visiting Durango from Denmark joined area residents to honor Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss on Saturday. Photo by Luke Perkins/Durango Herald
Carolyn and Casey Cook and Dana and Michelle Lashbrooke line Main Avenue on Saturday to welcome Capt. Jeff Kuss home. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
Dave Abercrombie said the motorcade for Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss reminds us “that life is precious and can be taken away at any moment.” Photo by Luke Perkins/Durango Herald
Ryan Ray, 1, lines the motorcade route to welcome home Blue Angels Capt. Jeff Kuss. Photo by Claudia Laws/Durango Herald
A flag was erected in honor of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss on Saturday in Durango. Photo courtesy of Durango Fire Rescue
Christina Kuss waves to the Durango crowds who turned out to honor her husband, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Kuss, a Blue Angels pilot, died June 2 in a plane crash. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Blue and yellow ribbons hung from posts, trees and awnings along Main Avenue in Durango fluttered in a light breeze early Saturday as the town honored Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

Flags were lowered to half-staff in honor of Kuss, 32, who died June 2 when his plane crashed during a Blue Angels practice exercise for an air show in Tennessee. He was a Durango native, graduating from Durango High School in 2002 and Fort Lewis College in 2006.

Residents lined the Main Avenue motorcade route, from 32nd Street to College Drive and along Camino del Rio and the 9th Street bridge, to pay their respects to Kuss and his family. Then, many headed to The Rim at Fort Lewis College to watch the flyby, which included the Missing Man formation, in which one jet pulled away from formation in honor of Kuss.

The motorcade began about 11 a.m., and took Kuss' remains to Greenmount Cemetery for a private service, which was capped by a 21-gun salute and a flyover by Marine units that Kuss served with before he joined the Blue Angels flight demonstration team in September 2014.

A reception for family and friends was held Saturday afternoon in front of the Student Union at FLC.

Donations

There are several ways to support the family of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. They would prefer these options to flowers:

A GoFundMe site was set up to benefit the family of Kuss, a Durango native. The fundraiser was set up by Kuss' sister-in-law, Nicole Perino. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/jeffkuss.The International Council of Air Shows established a fund for the family, according to its website. Donors may contribute to the Capt. Jeff Kuss Foundation at www.icasfoundation.org.A separate fund was created to help defray expenses related to Kuss' memorial service in Durango and the public reception Saturday afternoon. Donations to the Jeff Kuss Memorial Fund may be made at Bank of the San Juans/Division of Glacier Bank, 144 E. Eighth St., Durango, CO 81301.The Jeff Kuss Memorial Scholarship was founded by the family through the Fort Lewis College Foundation to help veterans earn a college degree. Donations may be made at https://apps.fortlewis.edu/makeagift.The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation set up the Captain Jeff 'Kooch' Kuss USMC Memorial Scholarship and will accept donations to help the children of fallen Marine or Navy corpsmen pay for post-high school education. Donations may be made to the foundation's Heroes Tribute Scholarship Program, which has committed up to $30,000 for Kuss' children, Calvin, 4, and Sloane, 1, when they reach college age.

Gallery: Kuss reception

A man signs a guest book amid a photo display of Capt. Jeff Kuss at a public reception for his family on Saturday at Fort Lewis College. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
People begin to gather Saturday afternoon to pay respects to the family of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Flowers were abundant Saturday at a public reception at Fort Lewis College for the family of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. Photo by Jessica Pace/Durango Herald
Family, friends and military colleagues of Capt. Jeff Kuss gather Saturday at a public reception for the family at Fort Lewis College. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Centerpieces used blue and yellow flowers to honor Capt. Jeff Kuss. The colors are shared by the Blue Angels, where Kuss was a pilot, and his alma mater, Fort Lewis College. Photo by Ann Butler/Durango Herald
A woman brought a sign honoring Blue Angels pilot Jeff Kuss to a reception at Fort Lewis College on Saturday. Photo by Jessica Pace/Durango Herald
People begin to gather for a public reception for the family of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss on Saturday at Fort Lewis College. Photo by Luke Perkins/Durango Herald
The community paid its respects to the Kuss family Saturday afternoon at a public reception at Fort Lewis College. Twitter photo by Fort Lewis College
Photos of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss were displayed Saturday at a public reception at Fort Lewis College. Kuss, a pilot with the Blue Angels, died June 2 in a crash. Photo by Jessica Pace/Durango Herald
“Here’s a guy who is a legitimate hero to the whole state,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday afternoon. “He went to Fort Lewis. They told him, ‘Well, we’re not sure that’s the right school if you want to be a pilot.’ He said, ‘I don´t care. I want to go to Fort Lewis. I want to be a pilot. I want to do both.’ The guy clearly had focus.” Hickenlooper ordered flags at all public buildings statewide to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Saturday to honor Capt. Jeff Kuss on the day of his service. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Michael Kuss, father of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, receives hugs and kind words during the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Michael Kuss, father of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, receives hugs and kind words during the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Janet Kuss, mother of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, receives hugs and kind words during the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Family and friends of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss attend the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Family and friends of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, attend the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Mary Anne Nelson, writes down a memory of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, who she had as a student at Sunnyside Elementary School. “He was one of the greatest kids I’ve worked with, and if you ever met him you’d never forget him,” Nelson said during the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Michael Kuss, father of the late Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, receives hugs and kind words during the reception at Fort Lewis College following the graveside services at Greenmount Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

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Durango honors Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss as the motorcade escorting his remains to Greenmount Cemetery makes its way down Main Avenue on Saturday morning.
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