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Joan Croucher

| March 30, 2006 11:00 PM

Joan F. Croucher, 76, retired administrator of the Libby Care Center, died Wednesday, March 29, 2006, at Kalispell.

Born September 6, 1929, at Muncie, Ind., to Benjamin Applegate and Edith Kern Applegate, she came with her family to Libby in 1941 and later graduated from Libby High School in 1946. That same year, she married Francis (Frank) Croucher.

With a young family in tow, they followed Frank's early career into logging camps and farming where work led them, settling permanently in Lincoln County in 1957. Their home on old Highway 37 between Libby and old Rexford is remembered by many as a favorite stop. Joan was known as a dedicated wife and homemaker who contributed tirelessly to the many aspects of their rural farm home.

They moved to Troy in 1969 and in 1970 Joan began working outside the home at the newly-constructed Libby Care Center as a cook, marking the beginning of a long career with that institution. She later worked in the institution's administrative department, eventually leading to her advancement to chief administrator, a position she served in with pride and diligence until her retirement in 2000. She had been a longtime member of the Libby Christian Church and Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxilliary.

She was preceded in death by husband Frank in 2004, son Steve Croucher, brothers Ed and Paul Applegate and sister Teola Hazen.

Survivors include her children, Ed Croucher and wife Chris of Libby, Charlie Croucher and wife Lois of Libby, Bob Croucher and wife Cheri of Troy, Lana Managhan and husband Gary of Troy, Bret Croucher and wife Becky of Libby and Brenda Croucher of Missoula; siblings Mary Johnson of Libby, Joseph Applegate of Albany, Ga., Phyllis Hansberry of Eureka, Duane (Bud) Applegate of Libby and Linda Arnold of Plains; and 22 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 3, at the Libby Christian Church. Interment services will follow at the City of Libby Cemetery. Friends may call at Nelson & Vial Funeral Home from 1 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.

Mom and Grandma will always remain cherished in our hearts, a woman dedicated to her family, bound with unconditional love, who inspired us with her strength and touched us with her faith.