ISHPEMING - John M. Croze, 68, of 2011 Deer Lake Ave, Ishpeming passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at his home while in the loving care of his family and the Upper Peninsula Home Health and Hospice.
John was born May 31, 1945 in Hancock, to John and Dorothy (Turk) Croze. He graduated in 1963 from Houghton High School and in 1967 from Michigan Tech where he participated in football and was a member of the Kappa Delta Psi fraternity. John received his masters degree in Math Education from NMU in 1968 and then began his teaching career at Ishpeming High School where he taught and coached for 35 years. John traveled state wide to represent his region in the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, working on many committees advising on the MEAP tests for math. After retiring in 2004, he continued his love of teaching math by becoming an adjunct professor at NMU for 10 years.
While at Ishpeming High School he coached football for 15 years. John was Mike Mileski's assistant football coach in 1975 when I.H.S. beat Hudson to win the State Championship and was head football coach in 1979 when I.H.S. went on to win another State Championship. After retiring from coaching he became the I.H.S. Athletic Director.
John had an absolute passion for teaching math. It was more than just a career for him. Many students, including his own children, went on to math related careers as a result of his mentoring. Through his coaching, all sports but especially football, he developed lasting friendships with many of his players. In retirement, John found time to become not only an I.H.S. fan but also a loyal Calumet football fan where his son, John, teaches and coaches football. John was often seen at Calumet games coaching from the sidelines.
Family was very important to John, and he looked forward to a first grandchild coming in September. John will be missed by his wife, Joyce (Franz) Croze, whom he married on September 2, 1967; three children, John Croze of Calumet, Jennifer Croze of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tim (Lynn) Croze of Dewitt, Mich.; a brother, Joe (Marye Beth Dugan) Croze of Milwaukee; two sisters, Pauline (Joe) McDermott of Charlevoix, Mich., and Mary (Chuck) Moore of South Haven; mother in law, Alice Franz; sister in law, Pat Rotundo; a brother in law, Gary (Barb) Franz; along with 17 nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents; and his father in law, Len Franz.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ishpeming with Fr. Dan Moll officiating.
John's family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, March 31, 2014 at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home from 5 to 8:00pm and on Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church from 10:00am until the time of service at 11:00am.
Memorial considerations may be directed to the Greater Ishpeming Area Community Fund where a scholarship will be set up in memory of John Croze, c/o Marquette Community Fund, P.O. Box 37, Marquette, MI 49855.
John's obituary may be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.