Joan Kroll, age 81, died November 20, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona after a lengthy battle with Atypical Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Joan was born August 24, 1941 in Sterling township, Minnesota to Woodrow and Ruth (Barott) Krugel. She was the eldest of 5 children. She grew up with a love for music, singing in a trio with 2 of her sisters, at church and at school, and playing piano and trombone. After attending some college, she married Ron Slater. They had one daughter.
Joan was a homemaker for many years. In the mid to late 70’s, she started working part time at a local bakery. She took vocational classes and training and started working at the University of Minnesota with the most recent position being with the Department of Family Practice. After divorcing in 1980, Joan continued to work and eventually purchased a duplex in south Minneapolis which she maintained for herself and renters.
Joan became involved in the group “We Care” for divorced and single people. She became a facilitator for the group. Joan met Bob (Robert) Kroll through the organization. They dated first in the Twin Cities, and then long distance when his job required him to move to Arizona. Joan left Minnesota to join Bob in Arizona in 1995, and they married in 1996. Joan continued to work in a variety of positions in Arizona, lastly with ADOT where she retired in 2001.
Joan and Bob moved to Sun City West in 2001. Joan liked to swim and walk laps in the pools. They traveled via road trips and cruises. Joan returned to her musical roots when she joined the Westernaires choir in 2005 and was active through 2018 in bi-weekly rehearsals and the twice a year concerts.
Joan said what she wished to be remembered for, above all, were her efforts for peace. She and a number of others known as “Grandmothers for Peace” would be out 1 or 2 Saturday mornings a month on the corner of 99th and Bell in Sun City protesting the many wars/conflicts that the US was involved with. Joan was also involved with the Northwest Valley Democrats organization.
Joan was a woman who had opinions and shared them freely. She had a sarcastic sense of humor. If you asked Joan how she felt, she would take the fingers on one hand and touch her other arm and say, “With my fingers of course". What most people will remember Joan for was her love of cats. Whether it was jewelry, clothing, or items around the house, there was no doubt of her love of felines. She shared much of her life with her own beloved cats. Joan had been quite a gardener in Minnesota but wanted to share that she was unable to ever grow a tomato to maturity. Joan volunteered in a variety of positions including doing hearing and vision screenings, scheduling Bloodmobile appointments, and at the St. Mary’s Food Bank.
After Bob’s death in 2019 and COVID appearing, Joan’s world got much smaller. After a hospitalization in September of this year, Joan decided to stop treatment for her leukemia and of an infection of an unknown source. She moved to a senior group home with hospice being involved with her care. After years of needing to eat gluten free due to Celiac Disease, Joan developed a bucket list of foods she wanted to try, including cinnamon rolls, pizza, a juicy hamburger on a bun, fried chicken and dressing/stuffing. Her daughter was able to supply her with these treats that Joan relished. Joan hoped to fall asleep and not wake up when it came time to die. Her wish was granted.
In addition to Bob, Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her stepfather Bill Brocker, sister Jeralyn Sexter Manecke, in-laws Stanley and Mary Kroll, niece Anna Krugel, nephew Steven Sexter, a host of cats with the most recent being Soxy, and other family members and friends she made over the years.
Joan is survived by daughter Pam (Dennis) Lowry of MN, stepson Keith (Laura) Kroll of IN, stepson Brian (Julie) Kroll, and stepdaughter Cathy (Curt) Olson of MN; siblings Linda Krugel, and Woodie (Meredith) Krugel of OR, sister Ordell (Gene) of AZ, nephew Alan of WI, niece Gretchen (Tara) and their 2 children of OR, brother-in-law Joe (Cheryl) Kroll of AZ, 5 step grandchildren, 4 step great grandchildren (with another on the way), as well as other relatives and friends.
An informal gathering including breakfast (which Joan enjoyed routinely after the Saturday morning protests) was held on December 9th at Lou’s Tivoli Garden restaurant.
Joan requested that memorials be donated to the following organizations, or to a charity of your choice.
Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue: Senior Foster/Special Needs Cats fund (Youngtown, AZ)
St. Mary’s Food Bank (Phoenix, AZ)