Francine Croughan

Obituary Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.

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Francine Croughan

Francine Margaret Croughan was born on Mar. 15, 1954, to Joan Mary and John Joseph Colacurcio of Yonkers. She passed away on June 30 after a short but fierce battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fran always lived in service to others, loving deeply and giving generously. All those who knew Fran considered themselves extremely lucky to have been touched by her kindness and receive her wisdom and guidance. She encouraged everyone she loved to live up to their potential and be their best selves. Fran helped edit many college essays and write many job recommendations to ensure the young people in her life could excel.

Joy through recreation was her passion. As the deputy commissioner of the White Plains Recreation and Parks Department, she was extremely skilled at designing programs and events that filled the streets of the City of White Plains with laughter and smiles. She was the visionary behind the Independence Day celebration at White Plains High School and the downtown New Year’s Eve ball drop, which are both enjoyed by thousands of people, young and old, each year.

As a child, Fran spent summers with her siblings and cousins at the family cabin on Candlewood Lake. Later in life, Fran and her husband, James Croughan, could often be found there on their pontoon boat, reliving childhood memories and instilling a love of water in their grandkids.

Bringing people together was one of the things that made Fran the happiest. Every year for about three decades, she packed and organized food, games and camping equipment to ensure that more than 20 family members and friends could spend a week enjoying the summer sun and ocean at Montauk’s Hither Hills. After a full day at the beach, Fran always planned activities to make the nights just as fun, such as having a neon dance party under the stars.

She loved visiting America’s national parks with her husband, younger brother Joey and sister-in-law Tammy, and marveled at the incredible natural wonders our country has to offer. Just this past March, she and James traveled overseas for the first time on a long-awaited trip to Ireland.

Fran was proud of her faith and served as the youth director for the Gilead Presbyterian Church for about 17 years. There she helped create inclusive events that strengthened the community and taught the church’s youth about the importance of service through Midnight Runs to New York City.

Fran cherished her friendships and considered her closest friends, Joyce and Mark and Tony and Denise and their children and grandchildren, to be family. She was married to James for 42 amazing years, and together they created a beautiful life in Mahopac.

She was the most incredible mother to her daughters, Dr. Alison Croughan Engelhardt and Beth Gary, and her nephew, Michael Lindberg, and their spouses, Adam Engelhardt, Mark Gary and Dawn Lindberg, respectively. She was the most amazing Nana to Anna, Kate, Gavin, Callie, Ryan, Grey and Wes, and the best Aunt Fran to Joey, Sara and her wife, Tara, Travis, Drew, Katherine, Mackenzie and Jacob.

She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Patricia, and her sisters-in-law, Patricia and Mary Ellen. She was predeceased by her daughter, Michelle, her parents, her father-in-law, Bill, and her sister, Debbie.

All those who knew and loved her will honor her legacy by lacing up their ice skates, paddling in their kayaks, splashing in the ocean waves and making it a point to have fun each and every day. She taught us to laugh often, make memories, show kindness and enjoy all that we are blessed to have.

A celebration of life will be held in September.

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