John Croce passed away August 23, 2015 surrounded by his family. He was born February 8, 1924 in Seattle to Nazzareno and Rosa Croce. He graduated from Franklin High School one year early in 1941. He served in the military from 1943-1946, in the U.S. Seventh Army, which eventually liberated Dachau Concentration Camp.
He was in the food business for all of his life. In 1971, he founded Pacific Food Importers and later Big John's PFI retail store. He worked regularly until the age of 89, always setting a good example with his positive attitude.
Big John was a pillar of the local Italian community. He was very proud of his Italian heritage. The Sons of Italy was his favorite organization and he was a lifetime member of Seattle Fedele Lodge #1390. On behalf of the Lodge, he founded the annual wine festival, the fava bean dinner and the ciambotta dinner. He was a longtime winemaker, winning several local awards for his homemade Zinfandel. He also was knighted by the Italian Consulate as a "Cavaliere" which is awarded in recognition of service to the Italian Republic.
He loved food, drink and music. We will remember his tongue in cheek response if someone asked him how he was doing --
"I'm poor and nobody loves me." Big John enjoyed life everyday.
We will miss him all the time.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Rose Croce; children Holly (Bill Cochran), Cathy (Ken Volpone), Mike (Chris Croce); and grandchildren, Margo, Laura,
Melissa, John, Ryan and Danny; his sisters Mary and Sylvia; nieces Cristina (Curt Ryser) and Lisa (Warren Patterson) and Goddaughter Kristi Thorn. John was preceded in death by his parents, son John Jr. and his sister Lily.
A viewing will be held at Columbia Funeral Home, 4567 Rainier Avenue S. on Wednesday, August 26 from 4-8pm. We will be praying the Rosary at 7pm. Services will be held at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Church in Seattle at 2800 S. Massachusetts St. on Thursday, August 27 at 11:30am with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers please send remembrances to Sons of Italy Fedele Lodge #1390's Seattle Fedele Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 94467, Seattle, WA, 98124 or charity of your choice
Our family will always be grateful
for the care from Mileta Radunovic and associates at TLC Family Home.