Susan Mary Gray
July 27, 1941 – March 9, 2019
Susan Mary (Croake) Gray passed away peacefully in Ann Arbor on March 9, 2019, at the age of 77.
Susan was born on July 27, 1941 in Janesville Wisconsin, the daughter of Willard and Dorothy (Robbins) Croake. Susan had many happy childhood memories of growing up in Janesville, including family gatherings, Irish music and storytelling, and many friends.
Susan was a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. She earned a degree in social work and began her career in Rock County, Wisconsin, and subsequently with Catholic Charities in Kansas City.
Susan moved on to become a loving stay-at-home mom and raised two wonderful sons. When her sons went on to college at Notre Dame, Susan took on a new career managing a tennis and fitness club for 11 years, where she also played competitive tennis. Susan then decided to work at a French home goods retail store in Ann Arbor, where she became the manager.
Susan was a loving, engaging, and generous person to everyone who knew her. She brought wit and wisdom into every conversation, and a sparkle into every room. Common threads among all of Susan’s careers included her strong work ethic, her love of engaging with people, and forming close friendships and lifelong ties.
When she retired, she pursued charity work and was able to spend more time with her family and friends. It was at this time that Susan became deeply involved in Bollywood dancing, which was the perfect avenue for her to expand her ever-growing network of cherished friendships. She served as the Treasurer of Sikhya, a charity funding organization that provides educations for underprivileged girls in India. She was also passionate about and actively supported several other charities.
Susan is survived by her loving husband, Steve, her sons Chris (Reshma) and Scott (Teresa), her brother Paul (Denise), sister-in-law Edith, six grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother Richard Croake.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church, 2250 East Stadium Boulevard, Ann Arbor 48104, on Saturday, March 16, at 11:00 am. The church will be open at 10:30 am for gathering. A celebration of Susan’s life will be held after the mass from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom at the Polo Fields Golf and Country Club, 5200 Polo Fields Drive, Ann Arbor 48103. Directions to this celebratory luncheon will be provided at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Chad Tough Foundation.
- Funeral Mass Saturday, March 16, 2019
Susan Mary Gray
March 15, 2019
Steve and family,
A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again - Maya Angelou
Susan was one such beautiful, kind, loving, spirited soul.
No words will ever do justice to the positive impact dear Susan has left on everyone around her including my family.
I will always cherish all our treasured moments spent together.
Susan was Sparkly, Unique, Smart, Amazing and THE Nicest lady I came across in 2013 at Bollyfit. Her infectious smile and the twinkle in her eyes would just lighten up any room. I consider myself fortunate and blessed to be in Susan’s close circle of friends. She was my phone pal and we chatted frequently for a long time. We had both funny and serious conversations, tennis from her days of playing, bollywood, driving in the winter months etc and always gave me motherly advice when I needed it the most. She was a proud mommy and spoke very fondly of both Scott and Chris’s achievements. She was a doting dadi and will surely miss her dadi stories and all her travel diaries.
Steve, you both hosted amazing unforgettable parties - summer pool parties, coloring parties or just another causal get together. You’ll always included everyone including my family when they were visiting.
Wishing you all the peace and comfort in the midst of pain and sorrow.
We hold you all close in our thoughts and prayers and hope you all know that you’ll have a whole village of friends supporting in every possible way.
Rest In Peace my dear friend ❤️
Love and hugs 🤗
Manisha Rathod 🙏🏼
March 13, 2019
I, like many people have many, many fond memories of Susan. It’s difficult to narrow them down to just a few. She touched every person she met through her forceful personality and oh goodness, that laugh!
One of the things that really stands out for me about her, is the sheer joy she took in other people’s successes. She came to many of my daughter’s shows and performances and delighted in each one, however small. She loved the photo I posted of my son’s graduation so much, that she ran out and got it printed and brought it straight over for us to frame. She did these things countless times because it made her happy and gave her great joy to see us smile. And I know she was equally proud of all the other people she knew and their successes and supported them too. She was a truly generous soul in every sense of the word.
She felt the pain of my family’s struggles of late very keenly. And seemed to show up just when needed. I will always be indebted to her and Steve for being there exactly when we needed them.
It’s that no holds barred, unconditional love that she had for so many people that I feel the most loss of.
Will miss you always Susan ❤️
Hardeesh, Maddie, James and Lucas
March 13, 2019
I met Susan in 1995 when she managed the Chippewa Club. We became friends and together with another friend, we sponsored the Penn Racquet Sports Tennis Tournament to raise money for breast cancer. My daughter, now 29, grew up at that Club and Susan mothered every child that went there to swim, play tennis and have fun. She personalized the Club as only Susan could do and made it feel like a family. When I dropped my daughter off for tennis or camp, I knew that she was with her Chippewa family. Susan was a very good tennis player. The last time that I saw her I told her that I didn’t play tennis anymore due to an injury and asked her how she stayed so fit and youthful. She had a big smile and said - “It’s the dancing. I love it and I love the people.” She had a heart of gold that spread love and kindness easily to family and friends. Oh how she loved her family! She was so proud of all they had accomplished. I will never forget that radiant smile. I am out of town and won’t be able to attend the services. RIP my fun loving and caring friend. You will be missed by many.
March 13, 2019
Steve and Family- Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that I feel. Susan was a beautiful soul, full of love and faith, ascended to heaven, away from us, but closer to God, leaving loneliness and sadness. Losing someone we love is nothing easy, we can realize that we are blessed to have been able to share in her life. With a heavy heart, I pray for the eternal repose of one who was a woman of distinguished humanity.
March 13, 2019
Steve and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Susan was truly one of the most amazing people I have had the fortune to know, and I know nothing will be the same without her.
For Steve - the relationship that the two of you shared was our shining example of what a marriage should look like. The depth of love and support you had for each other was so evident but unassuming, we could not help but look at you both with hearts in our eyes. In all the time that Susan tried to help set up those of us who are single (and she has many times!), we would often come back around to “Well, if you could find us a Steve...” and she would say “You can’t have him!” and our conversation would turn to how lucky you both were to have found such a partner in life.
For Susan’s kids and grandkids - though I have not met you all, I feel like I have known you all for years. Susan was so immensely proud of all of you that it shone through her. There was always a new picture or video to share, or a story to tell, and it was always lovely to hear as she loved you all so much! From afar, we’ve been very lucky to rejoice with her in all your milestones over the years, as her joy was infectious.
For all the rest of us- Susan was a shining light in our lives. She made everyone she touched brighter and lighter somehow, and carried us through both good times and bad. Every day I hear a new story of the impact she had in someone’s life, and the only thing I can say is, “That’s Susan.” 💕💕💕💕
March 12, 2019
I met Susan through Bollyfit and although I didnt know her well, I felt like I did. She was always warm, engaging and friendly anytime we met. She had a twinkle in her eyes, and she was fun and fun loving. I'll miss her warm, beautiful smile. RIP sweet Susan <3