Susanne Q. Croel

  • Died: September 15, 2020
  • Location: Roseville, California

Tribute & Message From The Family


Wonderful wife, mother, friend, volunteer and nature lover

Message From The Family

The family thanks all of the amazing family members and friends who have sent flowers, cards and memories of Susanne -- they've been very comforting. And thanks to all those who knew Mom/Sue and keep a special place in their heart for her memory.

Ina Susanne Quad Croel (Susanne), 83, passed away after a long illness on September 15, 2020. Most recently a resident of Orangevale, Calif., Susanne was born in New York City, reared in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and then made homes with her husband, Philip (who passed in 2013), in Michigan, California, Massachusetts and Florida. She came back to California from Florida in 2016 to be close to her children, all California residents.

Susanne was born in 1937 to Millard Carl and Ina Guy (Stewart) Quad. After graduating from high school in Ridgewood, she went on to get a degree in Speech and Drama from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Penn., which is where she met her future husband, Philip Miles Croel, a visiting cadet from West Point. They married on June 25, 1960 and spent the first few years of their marriage in Panama, where Phil was commissioned.

Susanne was a loving mother to four children, a dedicated volunteer in numerous organizations over the years, and a tireless advocate for nature. She volunteered at organizations including Kara (grief support); Green Pastures (a long-term care home for disabled youth); and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Susanne also volunteered her time as an art docent in the Los Altos public schools; as a tour guide and historian in Massachusetts; as a reading tutor to disadvantaged youth in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and at a local history museum in Crystal River, Fla. While in Florida, Susanne developed a passion for the endangered manatees that found their home in the warm waters surrounding Crystal River. She worked diligently on their behalf, volunteering her time with Fish & Wildlife to protect these gentle giants from encroaching development and overzealous tourists. Susanne's other passions included learning and practicing American Sign Language (ASL) as an interpreter; and working alongside Philip in the Parkinson's support groups that were an important part of his life and care as he dealt with the disease.

Susanne was endlessly curious and, right up to the end, a voracious reader with an appetite for books and magazines that kept her informed on the most pressing topics and issues of the day. Wherever she lived, she got involved with people and organizations that are focused on 'making the world a better place'. She will be remembered by her family and friends as a deeply intelligent, creative, spiritual and loving person, and she will be missed greatly by everyone whose lives she touched.

Susanne had a long (53 years) and happy marriage to Philip, who preceded her in death in October 2013. (Romantically, she passed away on his birthday.) She is survived by her four children, Lisa Susanne Croel, Heather Rosina Croel-Clay (Douglas), Russell Clint Croel (Heidi), and Michael Stephen Croel; two of her three siblings, Louis Jacob Quad and Wendy Katherine Quad; and six grandchildren. Her sister, Carolyn Beth Asquith, passed away in 2019.

Susanne was cremated and celebrations of her life will be scheduled and held by her children in Bodega Bay and Pacific Grove, Calif., at spots enjoyed by Susanne and Philip for their wild and divine beauty.

Donations in honor of Susanne can be made to Save the Manatee Club, www.savethemanatee.org.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Mrs. Croel,
I'm grateful that we talked recently and I was able to share how you made a big difference in our neighborhood of Los Altos and my life as a child. You were one of the "grown-ups" that I considered to be a friend. I'm grateful that I knew you.

Posted by Jennifer Crow - Bujumbura, Burundi, CA - Friend   October 23, 2020

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Sue, you will be missed. All our love. Weston and Elizabeth

Posted by Elizabeth Henry - Phoenix, AZ - Family   October 22, 2020

Our condolences go to all of the family who I know will miss Suzanne so much. Suzanne was one of those rare women who could touch anyone she met with a smile, great conversation and a genuine interest in anything they said! We only knew her towards the end of her wonderful life but had a very tender and special place for her in our lives and hearts. We were truly blessed to know Suzanne. Our love and thoughts go to you all, love Yvonne, Neil, Jazz and Jade x

Posted by Yvonne Eskenzi - London, WY - Friend   October 20, 2020

Dear Sue, It's hard for me to imagine the world without you. You have been in my life since you married my big brother when I was only ten years old, so I don't really remember a time of my life that did not include you. You were a wonderful sister-in-law, generous and loving, and a wonderful wife to my brother and mother to my nieces and nephews. You always seemed happy to see me and talk to me and it always felt good to be around you with your positivity and your sincere interest in my life and pursuits. I saw you only a few times during your final years, but each time you were selfless in your focus on others and not on your own suffering. I have countless memories of the year I lived with your family after I graduated from college and was broke, the pursuant years we both lived in Chicago, visits with your family in California, Boston, and Grand Rapids, your visits to me in Virginia and Kuwait, and the trip to Europe that you, Phil and I made together. The classic memory will be of walks down the lane with you and Phil and the kids, my mom and dad, and other various loved ones. I will miss you. Love, Angela

Posted by Angela Tayfun - Family   October 19, 2020

Susanne, I miss our daily text exchanges, all triggered by a photo. I enjoyed the times with you and Phil. God bless you and I hope Heaven is all you hoped it would be. love, Chesley

Posted by Chesley Haden - Sandwich, MA - Family Friend   October 18, 2020

Grandma, words cannot capture how much I miss you and your impact on me. You and Grandpa gave me an eternal reverence of Nature and Life. Our adventures in Florida, seeing manatees, alligators, snakes, tortoises, bobcats, and more are the part of my childhood I miss the most. Our conversations about books, films, history, life, and Jack London, whether in person or by phone, were always something I looked forward to. I hope you are at peace now. Your determination, wisdom, and social awareness will serve a great example for me as long as I live. Thank you for everything, lots of love, Aidan.

Posted by Aidan Clay - Danville, CA - Grandchild   October 18, 2020

Dearest Susannah danna :').... I weep as I write this. So many great memories with you and Phil. The picture of you with your cup of coffee is so 'you'. Always a proper cup, no mugs for you.
Sue was so fun. I remember when I first met you. The family was picking you up to continue the drive to West Point to meet up with Phil. We got a distance down the road and you realized you left your purse on the chair outside (we were taking pictures). It was still there when Dad drove you back for it. ....and early in your marriage to Phil, you used leftover liver in spaghetti sauce. That made quite a stir around the table when Russ discovered it.... makes me laugh to think of it again. Your cooking definitely improved.
Every time you came to Ionia, you would always head down the 'lane' to just commune with nature.... usually with a dog in tow.
You taught me to play Hand & Foot and Rummikube. Loved both.
Always so generous with your time, money and always welcoming if one of us came for a visit, or longer even. There's not enough space to recount the many laughs we've had over the years. I always enjoyed the weekends I spent with you in Lecanto, after Phil passed. Hated the drive but loved the 'time' spent with you......always worth it.
You were a great sister-in-law, friend and game player. It was great to see the Manatees through your eyes.
I'm glad the kids were with you in your last years. So important and they cared for you very well. I love you and miss you so much. You and Phil were fantastic together and now I'm sure you're together again. It didn't surprise me a bit that you passed on his birthday. That makes me smile.

Posted by Nicki Dawson - Bonita Springs, FL - Family   October 18, 2020

Mom... will I ever stop wanting to pick up the phone to talk to you a couple of times a day? I miss you so much and will miss you to my own dying day. I feel so fortunate to have had you for a mom and what I cherish most about our last few years together is that I got to know you just for YOU. Your depth and intelligence really dazzled me. You modeled for me how to get old when it comes to keeping the mind active and engaged in the world. Thank you for the love that you showered on me, and for reminding me to live in a spirit of gratitude. I love you, Mom.

Posted by Lisa Croel - SAN CARLOS, CA - Daughter   October 18, 2020

Mom I will love and miss you everyday. I take some comfort knowing you are at peace and hopefully with Dad. But now that you are gone there is just a large void that can never be filled. You and dad were such kind and loving parents. Some of my happiest memories of you in recent years involve exploring the trails in the Gulf Coast of Central Florida in search of alligators and manatees, playing Rummikub and cards and watching Downton Abbey! You always made a great cup of coffee and kept a beautiful home where ever you lived. More recently, once I began teaching fulltime, you always took an interest in the lessons I was teaching my students. I will never look at a crossword puzzle without thinking of you. Your passion for social justice and interest in current events always kept our conversations lively. I will love you and miss you always, Mom.

Posted by Heather Clay - Danville, CA - Daughter   October 17, 2020


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Susanne, I miss our daily text exchanges, all triggered by a photo. I enjoyed the times with you and Phil. God bless you and I hope Heaven is all you hoped it would be. 💜 love, Chesley