Edna Marie Croft passed away March 5, 2014, from complications of a massive stroke. At the time of her passing she was surrounded by family. Our family would like to give a special thanks to our friend Judith Stahl, who immediately came to Edna’s side so she would not be alone until family members could arrive. Known to many as Grandma Croft, Edna loved spending one on one time with family and friends. Some of her greatest joys in life were: reading her Bible and devotions; enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, especially birds and flowers; to be an independent country girl; to receive a handwritten note from a loved one; and to share life with Harry, her husband of 68 years.
Edna was born Nov. 12, 1926, in Loveland, Colo. She was the third daughter born to Margaret and Edward Flemming. Her sisters were Caroline and Frances Flemming. Six months prior to Edna’s birth, her father was killed when struck by lightning while irrigating a field. Edna was named after her dad, Edward, in his memory. For nine years, Edna’s German-speaking mother raised her three girls by being a dressmaker and seamstress. Then in 1935, she married U.C. Thomas who helped raise Edna. In grade school, Edna learned to speak English. She excelled as a student, enjoyed sports, played in the band, was an excellent piano player and had many dear friends. From the time Edna was in third grade, she had a constant, rambunctious admirer following her by the name of Harry Croft, who chased all other suitors away from her and later won her heart. They were married on Jan. 21, 1945, and later would have two children, Carol and Charles (Cob).
Edna had many character strengths making her the perfect ranch wife. She was project oriented, business minded, a good cook, willing to help out wherever needed, a gifted seamstress, a loving mother and devoted wife. In the early 1950s Edna and Harry moved their family to Montana, where for the next 30 years, they made a living by buying ranches to fix up and sell. The ranches were near Pryor, Wilsall, Big Timber, Chinook, Grass Range and Dillon. She loved the simplicity of country living and often said her ranching years were the best years of her life.
In the 1980s Edna and Harry left ranching to become partners of Croft Company Trucking with their son, Charlie. At the age of 55, Edna decided to get her CDL license and learned to drive a semitrailer. The next 20 years, she and Harry traveled side-by-side in an 18-wheeler through the Western states and Canada.
Edna was a breast cancer and stroke survivor. After her first stroke nine years ago, Edna struggled every day with physical limitations. Through the loving encouragement and prodding of Harry, she learned to walk again and together they grew in their faith to trust God in all circumstances. Harry passed away on Oct. 5, and five months later on March 5, Edna made a heavenly walk back into her soul mate’s loving arms. Today they are celebrating their faith in Jesus together for eternity.
Preceding Edna in death are her husband, Harry; her parents; two sisters; and a grandson, Ryan. Edna is survived by her daughter, Carol Ann Croft Jimmerson (Gary), who is the mother of Lynn Maciver (Angus), Gary Matthew and Kevin Jimmerson (fiancée Crystal); and her son, Charlie Croft (Sissy), who is the father of Katie Berglee (Landon), Clay (Rachelle) and Clint (Alexis) Croft. Her great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly, are Iain, Sorley and Duncan Maciver; Cyrus, Ryder and Eli Croft; and Verity, Nora and Harrison (Harry) Croft.
Our family is incredibly grateful to the staff of Autumn Springs assisted living for the love, support and kindness they have shown our family over the last eight years. Edna always felt safe and well cared for.
A memorial will be held at Faith Evangelical Church on Tuesday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. A luncheon reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Edna’s name to Faith Evangelical Faith Builders, 3145 Sweetwater Drive, Billings, MT 59102.