Edith Johnson Croll, 92, who had 'been honored many times for her volunteer work, died Tuesday at the Eliza Cathcart Home in Devon. She was a lifelong resident of Devon.
She gave her services to a variety of organizations — the Girl Scouts, Brownies, Red Cross and Bryn Mawr Hospital and its support groups. All had honored her for her services.
But it was her annual service with the Devon Horse Show that was the centerpiece of her volunteer efforts. Her mother played a role in getting her started.
In 1919, Mrs. Lewis Crew Johnson, chairwoman of the social service committee at Bryn Mawr Hospital, decided that a new venture was needed at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair, a committee-sponsored function that is a big money-maker for the hospital.
She settled on a cafeteria, a place where fair visitors and competitors could find fine fare. She buttonholed merchants, farmers and friends and drafted a kitchen and serving crew.
When the fair opened that year in the last week of May, the first trucks in carried asparagus, potatoes and strawberries. They were followed by chauffeur-driven limousines occupied by Main Line women bringing roasted turkeys, hams, salads and homemade rolls.
Mrs. Johnson drafted her daughter for duty with the cafeteria crew in 1920, and mother and daughter divided the duties for the next 32 years. When Mrs. Johnson died in 1952, Mrs. Croll drafted a friend, Mrs. Edwin J. Schoettle Jr., and the cafeteria continued.
In 1980, the social service committee, of which she was treasurer for many years, honored her for 60 years of service. Mrs. Croll noted that things seemed to be continuing in fine fashion. Her daughter, Jane Croll Tiffany, had been drafted for the cafeteria crew.
Although Mrs. Croll's work with the fair was her longest stint, it was not her first volunteer effort. She worked with the Red Cross before the United States joined World War I, and after the United States entered the war, she became an ambulance driver.
After the war, she began her work with the hospital. She helped found its Thrift Shop.
In 1929, she organized the first Brownie pack in Chester County. In 1954, she started the county's first Girl Scout day camp, founding Kelton Woods in Birchrunville.
Mrs. Croll returned to her work with the Red Cross in World War II, serving as a nurse's aide. She was also active in her church, St. David’s Episcopal.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Warren A. Jr.; five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Valley Forge Road, Wayne.
References: The Devon Horse Show Association by Elinor C. J. Sensenig, TEQ 12-3 (April 1963); Where Champions meet - The Devon Horse Show by Bob Goshorn, TEQ 32-3 (July 1994)