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Shirley Amelia Croucher

Obituary Condolences

Shirley Amelia Croucher Obituary
Croucher, Shirley Amelia (LaPaugh); 92; friend, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 surrounded by her daughters in Alma. Shirley was born on March 19, 1922, in Linton, North Dakota. Her mother, Ida (Nelson) LaPaugh, died when Shirley was five years old. Her father, Willis LaPaugh, who originated from Gratiot County, Michigan, brought his family, including his second wife, Alice Pelle LaPaugh, and children, back to Michigan and settled on the LaPaugh family farm near Elwell. Shirley graduated from Alma High School in 1940 and was a member of the National Honor Society. She went on to graduate from Cleary College, in Ypsilanti, and then served in the Navy as a WAVE. Upon her discharge, she worked at Michigan Chemical, in St. Louis, where she met Richard “Dick” Croucher. They married in September 1948. Dick’s mother, Marguerite Croucher, left her home in Connecticut to move in with the newlyweds. Much to Dick’s chagrin (but later delight), four daughters followed: Candace, Alison, Leslie and Dana. Dick and Shirley moved their growing family to Alma in 1955, where they resided for the rest of their lives. Ever proud of her Navy service, Shirley helped launch and served two terms as president of the Michigan WAVE Unit #32. In 1987, during the celebration of Michigan’s sesquicentennial, she was presented with a “150 First Lady Award,” an award devised by the Michigan Women’s Commission, awarded to honor Michigan’s unsung heroes. She was awarded the Tartan Award in 1988 for her years of volunteer service to her community. These awards were well-deserved. She served 53 years on the governing board of Camp Cutler. She devoted 39 years of volunteer service to the local and regional Girl Scouts. She raised funds for UNICEF, March of Dimes and the CROP Walk. She was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, League of Women Voters, Commission on Aging (including a position on the Region 7 board), St. Louis Child Study Club, PTA, Alma Women’s Club, Gratiot County United Way (including a position on the board), and Alma Parks & Recreation Commission. She was instrumental in establishing the Gratiot County Senior Citizen Center. Shirley is survived by her daughters, Candace Croucher Dugan, Alison Croucher Barberi, Leslie Croucher (Dick) Redmond and Dana Croucher (Brian) Bishop; and by nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, with two more on their way. Family members who predeceased her include her parents, Willis and Ida LaPaugh; her step- mother, Alice LaPaugh; her husband, Dick; her brothers, Delance and Willis Darrell; her sisters, Natalie LaPaugh Stearns and Mary LaPaugh Holley; and sons-in-law, Butch Graham and Carl Barberi. Shirley will be dearly missed by her immediate family, by Dick’s family Allen and Gwen Brinley, by the Bud Stearns family, the Jane LaPaugh (Leonard) Johnson family, the Mary Holley family, her relatives in North Dakota, her friends in Alma and Higgins Lake, and many more acquaintances across the United States. Shirley lived a long, full life typified by hard work, dedication, determination, strength, travel, adventure and family. Her 150 First Lady Award nomination aptly identified the values she believed in and which her family has tried to emulate: the golden rule, hard work, dependability, commitment, honesty, integrity, loyalty, selflessness, persistence, and tolerance. She stubbornly adhered to these values throughout her lifetime. Her family members are so proud of her and the wonderful example she set for them all. They appreciate the lessons learned and the love shared. Funeral Services will be held at Masonic Pathways, Doig Chapel on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 1 p.m. with Pastor George Ayoub officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 from 4 to 8 pm at Lux-Moody-Wolfel Funeral Home, Alma and Friday from 12 Noon until time of service at the Chapel. Interment will follow in Pritchard Cemetery. Although she was very fond of flowers, we know Shirley would appreciate memorial contributions being made to Camp Cutler, 11630 W. Madison, Riverdale, MI 48877. To view Shirley’s obituary online or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.luxfuneralhomes.com
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Published in Morning Sun on Apr. 30, 2014
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