Leci (McAbee) Croker, 79, passed away Dec. 10 at Sunnyside Manor in Wall. Leci was born in Anderson County, South Carolina, to the late Luther and Alene McAbee. She was predeceased by her husband, the love of her life, Ben Croker Sr. Surviving are her daughter and son-in-law, Laney and Baden Chace, Little Silver; and son and daughter-in-law, Ben Croker Jr. and Gena Walter, Greensboro, North Carolina; and three grandchildren, Hailey and Charlsea Chace and Trey Croker.
Leci spent her youth in the Liberty and Greenville, South Carolina area attending nursing school at Furman University. She met her true love, Ben, in the early 1960s and they were married in 1962. Ben’s job moved them throughout North Carolina, and to New York City, where they settled in Little Silver and raised their family, and finally to Greensboro. Ben and Leci retired to Dallas, Georgia, and spent many happy days riding around in Ben’s Jeep on Brushy Mountain. After Ben’s death, Leci returned to Little Silver.
Leci enjoyed meeting new people, whether it was in local charitable organizations for which she volunteered and served on their boards in New Jersey like Newcomers Club, Junior League of Monmouth County, Monmouth County Office of Social Services (MCOSS), Monmouth Center for Vocational Rehabilitation, Monmouth Day Care Center Auxiliary and Pollack Clinic Auxiliary of Monmouth Medical Center or her new found passions in North Caroline, like the Triad Orchid Society and as a Realtor for Preston & Geraci and the local Junior League of Greensboro and Newcomers Club. In addition to her family, some of Leci’s greatest joys were playing bridge and growing orchids with Ben in their greenhouse and competing in orchid shows. She still eagerly played bridge up until several months before her death thanks to bridge volunteer John at The Chelsea.
The family would like to thank the lovely caregivers at Sunnyside Manor, The Chelsea at Tinton Falls and Meridian Rehabilitation in Shrewsbury for their compassionate care and friendship to Leci.
A memorial gathering will take place on Sunday, Dec. 17 from noon to 2:30 p.m., with a prayer service at 2 p.m., at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. A private burial will be held in Dallas, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, please consider buying yourself a beautiful orchid to enjoy or making a donation in Leci’s memory to your favorite charity or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
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