Valerie Eugenia Croston, a former postal worker and traveler, died on Saturday, May 2, 2020. She was 73.
“She had an unquestionable love for knowledge and she wanted to share her knowledge of any subject with whoever would listen,” said sister Deborah Croston. “She always was pushing to better herself.
“She tried to push others to do the same so that the contribution they were making to [the world] was a meaningful contribution,” she added. “She was really smart and she loved helping people. She was an amazing person.”
She was born on Oct. 31, 1946, to the late Rev. Nathaniel Moses Croston Sr. and Isabella Jones Croston. She was the first born of nine children.
She grew up in South Philadelphia and Germantown. She attended Liberty Baptist Church, where her father was the pastor. According to family, Croston was a talented singer. She was known for her singing in high school and in local churches.
“Her friends from high school knew her as someone who was a gifted singer,” Croston said. “She sang in the school choir and church groups. She even sang a part of the Grand Old Gospel Trio during the crusades and revivals of Rev. Dr. B. Sam Hart. She took vocal lessons, but she really stopped singing by the time she became an adult.”
After graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1965, she became employed as a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service. She remained with the postal service for over 25 years. During her tenure there, she received the 25-year postal service award.
Croston’s love for learning led her to take classes in addition to working full time. She studied music at Rutgers University. She later graduated from Temple University School of Engineering Technology with a bachelor of science degree in bio-med engineering technology.
She loved education and continued taking classes at every level in any topic that interested her. While taking classes in the late 1980s, Croston made the Dean’s List each year and graduated with a degree in applied science.
She loved spending time with family, traveling, going to museums and visiting different national parks.
“One of my fondest memories of my sister is that she was my travel partner,” Croston said. “We went all over the world together. When we traveled, we never went to the same place twice because we both had the desire to see everything that we could see.
“She was also really into science,” she added. “She enjoyed national parks. She loved nature and looking at the birds. She would identify the different birds she was looking at. She also liked visiting different museums and doing arts and crafts.”
She was preceded in death by: her father, Nathaniel Moses Croston Sr.; mother, Isabella Jones Croston; grandmother, Isabella Jones; and siblings, Nathaniel Jr. and Pamela.
She is survived by: siblings Cordell (Barbara), Stephen, Paul Sr. (Lorraine), Jerrick Sr. (Jacquelyn), Deborah, Mark Sr. (Brenda Michelle), and other relatives and friends.
A graveside service was held on May 8 at Ivy Hill Cemetery. Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.