Philip Miles Croel, 75, of Lecanto, Fla., passed away Oct. 15, 2013, at his home under the loving care of his family and HPH Hospice. Born on Sept. 15, 1938, in Portland, Mich., to Russell Bruce and Marian Maxine (Miles) Croel. Philip moved to Citrus County eight years ago from Santa Rosa, Calif.
He was a beloved husband, father, CEO in the office furniture industry and West Point graduate (class of 1960). Phil was a friend, mentor, concert pianist, teacher, leader, daily inspiration and patriarch.
He volunteered his talent and time to multiple community organizations including the Big Brothers program, and the Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) in California. Phil loved his family and friends deeply, and took an interest in everyone he met. As Parkinson's diminished him physically, he started a new company "Walking Tall" and made beautiful walking sticks. He had a constant smile on his face and was a great example of not letting adversity get in the way of living life to its fullest.
Always an advocate for Parkinson's research and learning ways to live with the disease, Phil has donated his brain to University of Florida's Neuromedicine Human Brain Tissue Bank so that his brain could be used in the research of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.
Phil is survived by his wife, Susanne Quad Croel; four children, Lisa Susanne Croel, Heather Rosina Croel-Clay, Russell Clint Croel and Michael Stephen Croel; siblings, Nicolene Dawson, Stephen Croel, Angela Tayfun and Danon Croel; and six grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Phil's name may be made to the HPH Hospice, 3545 N. Lecanto Hwy., Beverly Hills FL 34465.
The family wishes to thank the beautiful hospice nurses who tended to their beloved husband and father: Nancy, Emily, Elaine, Maureen, Kathleen and Sandy.
Private cremation will take place under the direction of Brown Funeral Home and Crematory in Lecanto, Fla. Celebrations of his life will be held in Lecanto, as well as his hometown of Ionia, Mich.
Brown Funeral Home and Crematory, Lecanto, Fla., www.brownfuneralhome.com