Frances Anne Croke, 94

Frances Anne Babor Croke passed away on August 23, 2022 at the age of 94 at her home in Pottstown, PA.

Frances was born in 1928 in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. She spent the majority of her childhood on the north shore of Long Island, NY enjoying the summer on the beaches of Centerport playing and swimming with her cousins. She attended St. Vincent’s Academy in Tuxedo Park, NY. In 1949 she graduated from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania where she was an award-winning editor of the student paper, “The Rambler.” Soon after graduating, she was handpicked by Bishop Fulton Sheen to bring his “Life is Worth Living” televised talks to book form. She then went on to work as a book editor in New York City.

Frances took time off from her career after she married Frank Croke to raise their family in Greenwich, CT. In 1976, she contributed as an editor to the Bicentennial Oral History Project with the Greenwich Library. Later she joined her husband in running the family businesses. After moving back to Long Island, NY in the mid-80s, she earned a full Real Estate Broker’s license. She found her niche advising first timers on how to create a home and connect with community. When Frank and she retired to Wilmington, NC she became an active church member at the Basilica Shrine of Saint Mary where, for over twenty years, she volunteered for many church community activities especially working with elderly and became a lay reader.

She will be remembered for her sense of fun and welcoming demeanor. The annual 4th of July Party she hosted with Frank on the Connecticut shore is still recalled with joy and fondness by many. Frances traveled extensively with her husband and family both domestically and internationally. She loved learning new things throughout her life. She enjoyed painting, writing, building miniatures, skiing, piano, reading with her book club, swimming, following tennis, and listening to her children’s escapades.

Our talented and wise mother was often found advising one of us or our friends on navigating and appreciating the important things in life. She made deep and abiding connections that were personal and unique.

Frances delighted in helping children find their way, whether encouraging a teenager to ‘hang in there’ or donning a red suit and granny glasses to play Mrs. Claus for the many children too shy to share their Christmas wish list with her counterpart, a 6’7” Santa, played by one of her fellow real estate brokers.

She knew how to love each of us for who we were at any given moment in our lives.

Frances is survived by her six children Mary, Frances (Edward), Frank, Bill, Matthew (Peggy), and Diana (David). Frances was preceded in death by Frank, her husband of 54 years, her parents William and Frances Babor, and her brother William (Bill) Babor.

A service will be held Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, LLC., 711 N. Franklin St., Pottstown, PA 19464 on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. There will be a visitation from 5-6pm followed by a short service at 6pm. Flowers are welcome and any memorial contribution can be made in her memory to the Experience Fund at Rosemont College. Her cremated remains will be interred in New York at a later date.

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My Aunt Fran knew how to make everyone feel special. She provided me with so much wisdom and very specific guidance at big intersections of my life. She was the absolute best person to have a conversation with. Conversations with her were safe, she could be trusted with your thoughts and concerns. Conversations could easily move from one interesting subject to another, and then the wisdom and advise that she would drop in, was heaven sent. "Sometimes you need a little nerve!" You always knew that Aunt Fran loved you as is, and that was always the best feeling in the world. I'll miss her very much, I loved her very much, and always will. Jimmy

~ Jim Gannon
8/29/2022 11:23:56 AM

Peace and love to all the Croke family. You are the legacy of an amazing woman.

~ Peggy West Londonderry, VT
8/27/2022 8:16:44 AM