Richard L Croll, Dick to family and friends, that is, anyone who met him, joined his beloved wife, Ruby, in life eternal on 25 June 2018 while surrounded by his daughters. Born 27 July 1933 in Butler, PA to Martin Luther and Lillian Gregg Croll, he was the youngest of three surviving children. He was preceded in death by his older brother William (Wild Bill) Croll and is survived by his older sister, Jean Croll Ewert, his three daughters Tracy Croll Popey, Carol Croll and Amy Croll Craven, two sons-in-law, Robert (Bob) Popey and Peter (Pete) Huston, and five grandchildren, Robert (Rob) Popey, Anja Popey, Connor Huston, Edric Craven and Samantha Huston, along with several nieces and nephews and extended family.
He was a passionate patriot, completing a career in the US Navy Reserves, retiring in 1983 after serving primarily on the USS Gatling and USS Iowa, and interviewing candidates for the US Naval Academy. He was a master mathematics teacher and was a founding member of the South Campus of the Community College of Allegheny County. He earned a PhD in Education as Dean of Instruction, was a great supporter of community theater there, and retired in 1995.
He will forever be remembered for his booming, infectious laugh and his love of bowling and of baseball. One of his favorite memories was being an eyewitness to Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run in the 1960 World Series. Born the same year as the Pittsburgh Steelers, he also witnessed the Immaculate Reception. A true Pittsburgher – he also was a strong supporter of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Celebrating Stanley Cup Wins twice on the anniversary he shared with his beloved Ruby (June 12).
He had a limitless store of jokes, most of the groaner variety, so bad they were good. Also legendary is his love of all foodstuffs except for beets, with a particular enthusiasm for ice cream. some of his primary philosophies were:
Life is too short – eat dessert first.
There’s always room for ice cream – it fits between the cracks.
The cheaper the beer, the better it tastes, and the best beer of all is free.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff.
How are you doing today, Dad? If I were doing any better, I couldn’t stand myself either.
How are you doing today, Dad? I’ll never tell, I’m no squealer.
Would you like this or that? Yes.
He repeatedly noted how blessed he had been in life, having the best parents and best brother and sister ever, as well as the best wife and daughters. A great husband, Dad, Father-in-law, and Grandfather (Opa) – those who knew him are deeply grateful for the time with him. He offered all who knew him a wonderful example of wisdom, joy in simple things, and his insistence on seeing the best in everyone. Although his physical presence will be sorely missed, he will live on in all whom he touched in memories and in teachings.
Visitation will be held at Stephen D Slater Funeral Home, 1701 State Route 51, Jefferson Hills, PA 15025 on 02 July 2018 from 5-7 PM with memorial service to follow at 7 PM. Interment with his wife Ruby and service of committal will take place on 16 July 2018 at 11 AM at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Road, Bridgeville PA 15017 with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Disabled American Veterans or to Cedar Hill Animal Sanctuary, his wife’s favorite organization. A wake is being planned – more details to be forthcoming.