Ann Marie (Whalen) Croyle
Ann Marie (Whalen) Croyle of Santa Barbara passed away unexpectedly on April 27, 2018. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren, who had gathered to celebrate her upcoming 90th birthday. Her birthday party subsequently turned into an Irish wake, where Ann’s long and meaningful life was celebrated by family and friends. Wife of the late Robert C. Croyle, she and her husband relocated to Santa Barbara in 2003 from Watertown, N.Y. Bob passed away in 2009.
Born in Watertown on April 30, 1928, to Patrick and Margaret (Gilligan) Whalen, Ann was one of nine children. She graduated from Watertown High School and then worked as a secretary for Empsall’s Department Store. After marrying in 1948, the couple settled in West Carthage, N.Y., where they began their family, eventually moving to Watertown in 1961. After their six children were grown, Ann worked for the county and state courts in Watertown. Ann enjoyed summers at the family cottage on Lake Ontario and her last 15 years in the warmer climate of California.
Ann was funny, smart, sharp, compassionate, and committed to social-justice issues. She was an avid reader, accomplished bridge player, and dedicated crossword-puzzle solver. Her 15 minutes of fame came when, she, her sister Rose, and next-door neighbor Jean were photographed as children on a stone wall in a local park; taken by Willabel Cole Mitchell, the photograph was later featured on posters and notecards (Entre Nous or Girlfriends). Her laugh was a trademark and her family dearly loved to hear it. One of the last things she shared with them was her oft-repeated mantra: “Take care of your family: your family is everything.”
Ann Croyle is survived by her children: Robert J. of Burlington, MA.; Steven J. (Mary Lou) of Newfield, N.Y.; Martin W. (Abigail) of Wenham, MA.; Jeffrey A. (Pamela) of Essex, CT.; Linda M. (Lori) of Goleta; and Lisa A. of Wake Forest, N.C. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, countless friends, faithful bridge partners, and a multi-generational extended family, who all miss her terribly. She was a parishioner of St. Raphael’s Church.