Joan A. Croan

Oct. 15, 1929 - Nov. 9, 2018
Joan A. Croan, Oct. 15, 1929 - Nov. 9, 2018

Joan Alice Croan of Sag Harbor, a real estate broker, died on Nov. 9 at the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Southampton. She was 89 and had been in failing health.

As a young woman, Ms. Croan lived through the blitz of London in World War II before emigrating with two children, Louise Strada Grinsell and Michael Strada, to this country in 1953 on the S.S. Flandre. She became a sewing teacher for the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Westbury and later privately in Sag Harbor, where, in the 1970s, she met and married Peter Croan, known as Jerry, who survives.

She was born in Baldock, Hertsfordshire, England, on Oct. 15, 1929, the daughter of Reginald Close and the former Gladys Geary. She grew up there and excelled at competitive swimming  while at school, winning many country and regional trophies.

According to Joanne Shumski of Sag Harbor, her third child, her mother was most proud of her career in real estate. She worked at one time for Meadow Realty in Southampton and for Corcoran, Prudential, and Brown Harris Stevens, from which she retired in 2010.

When she was not working or spending time with her family, Ms. Croan loved to garden in Sag Harbor, where she “brought a little bit of Merry Old England in creating the quintessential English garden at their home,” her daughter said. She also had an extreme love of Noyac Bay and the nature surrounding it.

Ms. Grinsell, who lives in Yaphank, survives, as does Ms. Shumski, Timothy M. Croan, her late husband's son, and two grandchildren. Her son, Michael Strada, died as an adolescent.

Ms. Croan wished there to be a celebration of life party after her death. Accordingly, the family will receive visitors at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a  cocktail party at Ms. Shumski’s house.

The family has welcomed memorial plants and flowers, and it has been suggested that donations in her name be made to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 901, Wainscott 11975.

Ms. Shumski said friends would remember her mother as “an elegant, smart, classy woman.”