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    NLB Community Activist Martha "Mike" Croft, Passes

    (Jan. 23, 2007, with p.m. update) -- received word today of the death of veteran NLB activist Martha "Mike" Croft. She passed away January 17 at age 92.

    In a polite but firm style that was her trademark, Ms. Croft told anyone and everyone who lent an ear about how terrific it was to live at the "Top of the Town"...and she wasn't shy about correcting anyone who thought otherwise.

    Mike was named "Honorary Mayor of North Long Beach" on her 90th birthday by former Mayor Beverly OíNeill and rode in the Mayor's car in the 2005 Veterans Parade (Mike is seated in front). It was a fitting tribute to her...since she was among those who helped bring the Veterans Parade to LB. (She and her late husband, Albert, were named the parade's first Grand Marshals).

    Even in her later years, Mike was a civic whirlwind...and much of LB is a better place for her multiple involvements.

    A close friend, Gayle Koch, provided this obituary:

    [begin text]

    North Long Beach has lost a community champion with the passing of Martha "Mike" Croft on January 17, 2007. Mike, nicknamed by her husband Albert when they first met, has tirelessly served the North Long Beach community since she and Albert took up residence here in 1952.

    Mike loved our neighborhood feeling and believed that one person could make a difference; and she did.

    Her civic work includes the Long Beach Senior Citizen Advisory Commission, North Long Beach Advisory Council, the Mayorís 1990 Census Committee, North Long Beach Neighborhood Association Executive Committee, North PAC, North Long Beach Veterans Day Parade Committee (she and Albert were the first Grand Marshals of the Parade), the North Long Beach Neighborhood Association, Hamilton Association, the youth program Bikes 90800 and, in her "spare time", she was a Fire Ambassador teaching children about fire safety.

    Mike loved volunteering and had a long list of folks that she could count on to help out whether it be to assist with the food distribution program, the annual Halloween carnival, senior flu shots, to name a few. She loved the fun of gathering up the volunteers who loved North as much as she did. Mike could "twist an arm" when necessary. Today, there are a great number of volunteers serving our community thanks to Mike.

    The City has responded to Mike with thanks over the years; her walls are covered with commendations. In 1998, she was named Long Beach Outstanding Woman of the Year. Thatís quite a feat for a little girl born on June 20, 1914 in the Missouri countryside.

    Former Mayor Beverly OíNeill proclaimed Mike as the "Honorary" Mayor of North Long Beach on her 90th birthday, and she had the privilege of riding in the Mayorís convertible at the Veteranís Day Parade in 2005.

    If you want to get something done, ask a busy person. Martha "Mike" Croft was that person. As her eyes began to fail in her later years, she commented, "My eyes may not work very well, but my mouth works just fine!" She never hesitated to speak up loud and clear to improve the community of North Long beach which she proudly called "home."

    Mike was instrumental in establishing the Houghton Park Senior Center. It is fitting that the memorial celebrating her 92Ĺ years of life will be held at Houghton Park (6301 Myrtle Avenue) on Sunday, March 4, 2007, at 1:30 pm.

    Mike: thanks for your everlasting spirit and your hard work in making North Long Beach the community it is today.

    [Jan. 23 p.m. update] At the conclusion of the Jan. 23 Council meeting, 9th district Councilman Val Lerch moved to adjourn in her memory...and said of Ms. Croft:

    Councilman Lerch: ...She was a leader in North Long Beach for over thirty years...Mike Croft will be misssed. Anybody who's lived in North Long Beach as a volunteer knows Mike Croft's commitment to North Long Beach and to the organizations. Her list of resumes of what she belonged to from Fire Ambassadors to RDA PAC member on through is long and extensive...She will truly be missed. She was a great lady and a great lady in North Long Beach and this entire city, so I'd like to close in her memory.

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