CRILLY, Lois Brown
Lois Brown Crilly, of Simsbury, died Tuesday (July 31, 2012). She was born in Hackensack, NJ, in a hospital made of bricks her grandfather made, to Roy Wanamaker and Edith Ravekes Brown. She grew up in Bergenfield, NJ, and graduated from Trenton State Teachers' College, majoring in elementary education, eventually earning a master's and sixth year degrees from the University of Hartford. She was particularly proud of her father, the superintendent of schools in Bergenfield, for whom the high school there was named, of her Aunt Daisy, who was the first woman engineering graduate from Cooper Union, and of her brother, Rob, who not only won the Navy Cross during World War II, worked on the Marshall Plan in Europe, and as David Sarnoff's assistant at NBC News, but, most important, knew the Three Stooges. After her parents moved to Connecticut, she taught first grade in West Hartford at the Smith School until her marriage to Ira Benjamin Crilly in 1952 at the Litchfield Congregational Church. Together, they built a saltbox in Simsbury, where they raised four children. Mr. Crilly, an engineer, a college physics teacher, and an inventor, died in 1975. Mrs. Crilly was a first and second grade teacher at Cherry Brook and Canton Elementary schools for 30 years. She taught hundreds of children to read, and was especially fond of and patient with children who had trouble learning. She convinced most of her students that she rode to work on a kangaroo, that she had won several Olympic gold medals for her cartwheeling, and that if you ate an orange and drank three glasses of milk every day, you could live forever. Since she was five years old, she spent her summers on Panther Pond in Maine, where her family has a camp. Mrs. Crilly loved to swim in the lake, laugh wildly with her family and friends, play a ruthless game of rummy or poker, paddle a canoe, and feast on the porch as the sun set. Her good works include brightening the days of lots of people with her fabulous sense of humor, helping older neighbors and friends, taking care of her grandchildren, knitting hundreds of wool mittens for the children at South Park Inn, and contributing generously to FoodShare in Bloomfield for many years. Her parents, husband, brothers, William and Robert Brown, and her sister, Ann Brown White, died before her. She leaves her daughters, Janet Crilly Parmalee and Nancy Crilly-Kirk, her sons, Paul and Peter Crilly, their spouses; and 11 grandchildren, Colin, Meredith, Lianne, and Lark Parmalee, Joel and Juliet Kirk, and Margaret, Meredith, Benjamin, Nathan, and Alexandra Crilly.
There are no calling hours and a memorial service and burial will be private. Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements.