Dr. James Edwin Croft
Dr. James Edwin Croft 82, died September 6th with his wife of 61 years by his side. With Jim's passing so goes a life filled with compassion, acceptance and understanding. His love for his wife and family was felt by each of them every day. Jim was born September 15, 1929 the oldest of 3 children to Hugh and Marion Croft in Vinton, Iowa. His family moved to Mt Vernon Iowa where he graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1947. He went on to Cornell College in Mt Vernon where he found his love for music and education, at the end of his junior year he and his sweetheart of 3 years, Diana Pringle married, she was an elementary school teacher. After his graduation in 1951 they both got teaching jobs in Traer Iowa. He loved his job but felt he needed more education so he started work on a master's degree from Iowa State Teacher's college (which he later finished while in Oshkosh). A fellow graduate student encouraged him to apply for the band job at Oshkosh High School in Oshkosh Wisconsin. Thus, started an illustrious career including the opportunity for this band to be the first high school band to play behind the iron curtain. While in Oshkosh he took time to earn a PHD at The University of Oklahoma graduating in 1970, In 1972 he was hired as Director of Bands at University of South Florida, he remained there for 8 years before he accepted his final job at Florida State University where he stayed until his retirement in 2003.
There simply is no room to list all of Jim's civic and career affiliations, awards and memberships. The Midwest National Band Clinic was probably dearest to his heart but he traveled the world creating beautiful music with so many wonderful people.
He is survived by his wife Diana Croft and his two children Tim Croft and Nancy Croft-Pierson, and his three beloved grandchildren, Elizabeth, Sean and Melissa Pierson.
A memorial will be held at a future date. The family asks that in lieu of flowers you make donations to: Croft Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund College of Music Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1180, or USF Foundation (Mr. and Mrs. James Croft Music Education Endowment) USF College of the Arts, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, FAH110 Tampa, Florida 33620. The family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.
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Published by Tallahassee Democrat on Sep. 9, 2012.