Francis Richard Croke, 70, oil company owner

April 30, 2002

Francis Richard Croke, an East Baltimore oil company owner, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his White Marsh home. He was 70.

A Baltimore native, he was raised on Riverside Avenue and was a 1950 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington, where he played lacrosse and soccer.

He served in the Army during the Korean War.

After working in the Key Highway shipyard of Bethlehem Steel Corp., Mr. Croke joined United Oil Co. in 1960.

He purchased the company in 1972 and expanded its Kane Street plant in East Baltimore. He was making local sales calls until his death.

He was a member of the American Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, the Exchange Club of Highlandtown and the Order of Redman.

A memorial Mass was offered yesterday at St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church in Bradshaw, where Mr. Croke was a member.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Maria "Mitzi" Furst; three sons, Richard J. and Thomas P. Croke, both of Baltimore, and Timothy P. Croke of Bel Air; a sister, Carmen McFarland of Lutherville; and five grandchildren. Another son, Robert Croke, died in 1993.

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