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Walter Preston Croft

May 9, 1921 — August 3, 2021

AIKEN, SC - Walter Preston Croft, age 100, entered into eternal rest on August 3, 2021, at his Shadow Oaks Assisted Living home. Walter was born in Bethune, SC on May 9, 1921, to parents Marion Joseph Croft and Hattie Gardner Croft. He is survived by his son, Walter "Wally "Allen Croft (Janelle) of Goose Creek, SC; his daughter, Judy Croft Shurtleff (Jeff) of Augusta, Ga; five grandchildren, Britt Shurtleff of San Diego, Ca., Jeffrey Shurtleff of Atlanta, Ga, Jonathan Shurtleff (Julianna) of Augusta, Ga., Walter Paul Croft (Emily) of Dayton, Ohio., and Adele Croft Hunt (Kermit)of Goose Creek, SC; Great Grandchildren, Jon Shurtleff, Jackson Shurtleff, Sienna Croft, and Jessie Croft; Sister-in-law, Lucy Allen Still, Blanche Allen Faulkenberry both of Winston Salem, NC, Nancy (JW) Hunt of Pinnacle, NC; Brother-in-laws, Lonnie (Frances) Allen of Pinnacle, NC, Fred Allen, Gastonian, NC, Frank (Ella Mae) Allen, Charlotte, NC and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and wife Mae Allen Croft. Corporal Croft joined the United States Army during World War II, he served in the 4th Infantry Division which saved the left flank of the Allied lines and thus the City of Luxemburg. The 4th ID participated in every major campaign from Normandy Beach through Germany. Corporal Croft then was assigned to the 3rd Army to provide relief to the original defenders of the Battle of the Bulge. Following this, he re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Walter met his lovely bride, Mae, during his military years. They married in September 1947 and made Camden, SC their first home. When he married Mae, he inherited a whole family of brothers and sisters in Pinnacle, NC. They frequently attended family gatherings there. In 1947 he moved his family to Chicago so he could attend Coyne Institute in Chicago, Ill. In 1952 the Crofts moved to Aiken, SC and raised their children there. He made his career of 35 years at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Plant with Dupont and Westinghouse, in the Electrical & Instrumentation Division. Walter commenced his Masonic Journey in 1950 in Bishopville, SC, where he raised to Master Mason. He affiliated with the Aiken Lodge #156 in 1966 and served as Chaplin in 2007-08. He received his 70 year Service Award in 2020. Walter and Mae were very active with the Eastern Star Organization and served many positions, ending with Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. They served as advisors for the Rainbow Girls in the late 1960's. Walter and his wife Mae were active members of St. John's Methodist Church in Aiken, SC for 69 years. They attended the Fellowship Sunday School Class. He was a member of the Methodist Men and supported the Church faithfully his entire life. Walter dutifully served as a Poll Watcher on many occasions for local, state, and national elections. He enjoyed traveling across the US and Europe, but his favorite vacations were cruises with his family and grandchildren. After his wife passed, Walter moved from Gem Lakes to the Shadow Oaks Assisted Living community in Aiken, SC. He made many friends and enjoyed many good times there. His apartment was a showcase of the photos, gifts, cards, and letters from friends he made during his lifetime. Most recently in May, when Walter turned 100 years old, he was celebrated by the other residents and staff of Shadow Oaks, the North Augusta VFW, a Veteran motorcycle salute, TV and newspaper reporters, and numerous family members and friends. It was also a celebration and testament to his strength for surviving the isolation of Covid year 2020 when family was not allowed inside the residence. Walter kept his sense of humor to the very last days of his life. He enjoyed a good joke and was quick with a funny line. In his last days, he was heard to say "Rainy days are only good for ducks and newlyweds." Although he had some physical challenges during the last year of his life, he was in reasonably good health for most of his 100 years. He enjoyed a good meal, his wife's pound cake, and anything with peanuts or pecans in it. He pulled for his Clemson Tigers. While Walter had many prized possessions, he preferred his lifelong friends and family members most. Many days he would telephone nieces, nephews, grandchildren, children, old friends and new friends. He valued all his friendships and relationships. He was proud of all his grandchildren and their accomplishments. He was very proud of his neighbors, the King family, who performed private musical recitals for his enjoyment. He took lessons himself on the electric organ. He admired the talents that his friends shared with him. He stayed engaged and sharp to the end. Walter's life stands as a good example of a Life truly Well-Lived. Walter loved the Lord, his family, his neighbors, his country and it is only fitting that his funeral is in his very favorite block here in Aiken. Of course, St Johns was his beloved church home. 7 years ago, we gathered as family and friends to say goodbye to his loving wife, Mae Allen and now we all smile knowing that they will be together again in their Heavenly home. We would like to thank the staff Of Shadow Oaks for the wonderful 7 years he lived there, especially Lenzie Wilson and Ms. Wylie. The family would like to pay a special tribute to Mr. Robert Busbee, for adding so much joy and happiness in daddy's final four months. Hats off to his wonderful caregiver Dana Hudson. A Very Special couple to Walter and Mae, Laura and Bill O'Neal, we give our gratitude for the love and friendship over the years. A funeral service will be held at St. John's Methodist, August 12, 2021 at 10 o'clock with The Revs. Dr. W. Timothy McClendon and Grayson "Butch" Blackwell officiating. A military burial at Sunset Memorial Gardens follows. Pallbearers will be Walter Paul Croft, Jeff Shurtleff Jr, Jonathan Shurtleff, Terry Gaskins. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Fellowship Class of St Johns UMC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Johns Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St., NW, Aiken, SC 29801 or a charity of your choice. SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC 29801 To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter Preston Croft, please visit our flower store.

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