Dr. John Henry Croghan, "Jack," an accomplished educator and academic, beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather, died on June 16, 2022, from pancreatic cancer at his home in Miami. His wife, Anne, was by his side. He was 91.
Born to Anthony and Alice (Fox) Croghan in New York City on June 10, 1931, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jack attended Holy Innocents School and Bishop Loughlin High School. Jack loved growing up with his brothers in Flatbush, taking advantage of the nearby city parks, hopping on the subway for his next adventure, and doting on his sister, Alice, who had Down's Syndrome. She adored him in return.
Jack enlisted in the Marine Reserves in 1948. During his sophomore year at New York University (NYU), Jack was called to serve and was assigned as a flight engineer stateside. Upon his discharge, he completed his studies at NYU, playing on the football team (when NYU had a team!), and graduated with a BS in Education. He then accepted a teaching position at Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School in Brooklyn and taught in the Roslyn Public Schools (NY). He coached the football team while teaching in Roslyn. The football team's mascot was Samson, his English bulldog. While teaching and coaching in Roslyn, Jack earned a Master's of Education from Hofstra University.
While in Roslyn, Jack met Anne Marie Dalton, who grew up there and was teaching kindergarten in West Babylon, NY. Jack and Anne married in 1960 and welcomed two daughters, Deidre and Maura, while living in Westbury, NY. Jack was offered a position and taught at Queen's College for a short period. They then moved their young family to Syracuse so that Jack could continue his education at Syracuse University. While in Syracuse, they joyfully welcomed their son, Chris, making the family complete. Jack finished his time in Syracuse, receiving a Ph.D. in Education Administration in 1968.
Jack accepted a teaching position at the School of Education at the University of Miami (UM) in Coral Gables, Florida, teaching graduate courses in educational administration and educational leadership. He served as Chairman of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies during his tenure. Jack chaired doctoral committees for approximately 200 students, advising on their dissertations and defenses during his 30-year tenure. A former mentee who thanked him in her dissertation's acknowledgments wrote: "He is a master teacher of teachers, and I am indeed fortunate to be his student." Jack's exceptional mentoring, teaching, and support of Hurricane athletics were acknowledged when he was inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.
Jack's academic responsibilities included working at the South Florida Desegregation Center at the University of Miami, helping school districts implement their desegregation plans to fulfill the 1958 legislation by the federal government requiring the desegregation of schools. He authored school desegregation plans for Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, and Volusia County Public Schools and co-authored plans for Alachua, Bay, Collier, Columbia, Leon, Levy, and Pinellas County Public Schools. He directed a program for displaced administrators from across the country following school desegregation.
In 1984, the National Institute of Education sponsored a study that Jack co-authored, “Strategic Considerations for Improving the Principalship.” The competencies developed in this study were implemented by the state of Florida, which was a gratifying achievement in Jack's career. Throughout the years, Jack worked as a consultant on numerous public education and administration projects throughout the country. Among his clients were Harvard University, Boston Public Schools, and Florida's Department of Education.
Jack was incredibly active and loved and appreciated sports and athleticism in others. Jack enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving and had great fun playing semi-pro football with some vets on Long Island for a short time during his twenties and thirties. He loved coaching football, lifeguarding, and teaching young children and babies to swim. He was a devoted fan of his soccer-playing son, Chris, and his grandsons, Colin and Sean, on their various sports teams. As a boy growing up in Flatbush, Jack was a huge fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and his idol, Jackie Robinson, whom he eventually met and spoke with when they were seated side by side at a luncheon in the 1980s.
It would be an understatement to say that Jack was a devoted fan of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team. For over 50 years, Jack was the quintessential 'Cane – a season ticket holder for over four decades and a member of the Hurricane Club. A memorable highlight was when Jack was asked to be an honorary coach at the University of Miami/Florida State University game in 1983, assisting Coach Schnellenberger. Miami won this critical game (17-16), propelling them to the Orange Bowl.
Jack was a Holy Rosary Catholic Church member for over 40 years, and later, Holy Rosary-St. Richard's. He devoted time during his retirement years as a Eucharistic Minister, bringing communion to parish members who could not attend Mass. Much of Jack's time in retirement was spent with his beloved dogs, Peach and Honey, and he and Anne treasured their summers at their cabin in Blairsville, Georgia, enjoying southern cuisine, friends, dog walks, and volunteering at Vogel State Park.
Jack could be as silly as he was intelligent, which was one of the ways he showed his love, especially to his children and grandchildren. Once, he created a humorous headstone for his granddaughter, Grace's betta fish, "Filet ."Another time, he and his grandson Sean wore ridiculous fake teeth throughout the week while on vacation, thinking it was comedy gold. Above all else, Jack loved his family. We will all miss his stories, sense of humor, wisdom, experience, and, most of all, his way of always letting us know that he loved and appreciated us.
Jack is survived by Anne Dalton Croghan, of Miami, FL, his wife of 61 years, his daughters, Deidre Fisher and her husband, David, of Boston, MA, Maura Eustace and her husband, James "Jim", of Easton, CT, his son, Christopher Croghan, of Miami, his grandchildren, Clare, Colin, Grace, and Sean, his brother, Anthony "Tony" and wife Eileen of Sunnyside, NY, and his beloved lab, Honey. Jack was predeceased by siblings Mary, Alice, James "Jimmy," and Richard "Dick."
Visitation at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL from 2 - 4 PM and from 6 - 8 PM on Friday, June 24, 2022. Funeral Mass will be held at 11AM on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church, 7500 SW 152 St., Palmetto Bay, FL.
Please use this link to view a livestream of the funeral service.