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John Leroy (Jack) CROAL

CROAL, John Leroy (Jack) 82, of Santa Ana, our beloved father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle passed away peacefully on July 1, 2013, after a battle with cancer. He was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, CA on August 2, 1930 and attended St. Joseph's Grade School in Santa Ana, Villanova Prep School in Ojai and Loyola University in Los Angeles. He met his beloved wife Dorothy at one of her Immaculate Heart College dances and they married in Hollywood in 1952. They started their family in San Francisco while Jack attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Dentistry, and then moved to Albuquerque, NM while he served as an Air Force Dentist. Eventually they moved to Jack's home town of Santa Ana, CA where he took over his father's dental practice, and raised their family. Jack loved music and learned to play piano at an early age, often entertaining his family with lively marches and classical music. Jack also loved to fish and was an avid golfer. He really enjoyed nature and camping with family and friends. You could expect to find him with his camera, and was often requested to be an event photographer. Jack had a penchant for vegetable gardening and delighted in his harvest of heirloom tomatoes. He coached little league baseball and attended all of his children and grand-children's sporting events, dance performances and special events through the years. Nothing brought Jack more joy than listening to music and spending time with his family, of whom he was so proud. He was genuinely loved by all his patients, practicing dentistry until he was 80 years old. He always had a big smile and loved to wave the peace sign to everyone. Jack was a gentle and caring friend and father. His kindness and generosity will be truly missed. Jack was a devout Catholic and a member of many service organizations including the Santa Ana Optimist Club, the Serra Club, and Orange County Dental Society. He was an Ancient Acolyte assisting with the Mass for the Sisters of St. Joseph, and offered his dental services to many of the nuns and priests in Orange County. He also cherished weekend faith retreats. Jack was also a longtime Mater Dei booster; you never went to a game without seeing Jack in the stands. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Dorothy and brother Rev. Thomas B. Croal and is survived by his brother Vince (Pat) Croal, 5 children Marilyn (Rich) Brumley, Dianne Croal, Tom (Cathi) Croal, Sue (Peter) Cullen, Jim (Celeste) Croal, 14 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 2 nephews and one grandniece. The Vigil service will be held Monday July 8th at 7pm and Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday July 9th at 10am. Both services will be held at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. Interment will follow in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Vincent de Paul. For more information & directions, please visit www.localtributes.com Brown Colonial Mortuary, Santa Ana, 714/542-3949, assisting the family

Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 7, 2013
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