Obituary of Harold Lester Croft, Sr.
Harold Lester Croft Sr. 79 passed away Saturday November 10, 2018 in St. Petersburg Florida. He is survived by his wife of 27 years Claudia, brother Winston, sons Terral, Buddy, Timothy, and Michael. Step son Joseph, seven grand children, five great grand children, many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Harold was preceded in death by his parents Enoch and Lillie (Cobb), siblings; Larry, Enoch, Cosette, Jack, Lavaughn, Lindsey, baby boy, Russell, Gene, and his first love and wife of 27 years Betty Jean Jones.
Harold started his career as a young boy by learning to fix and/or build anything by working with his brother Jack. After his internship with the "Jack of all trades" he found his way to Cocoa Masonry of Orlando where he quickly rose in the ranks. When Jim and Roy Paul decided to expand to Tampa in 1969, they chose Harold to help Jim build the business. The story goes that because of a wrong turn into Ybor City with Betty in the car the Paul’s were informed that they would be starting their business in St. Petersburg instead. Over the next 35 years Jim and Harold built a company that was envied by their competition and with many trying and failing to copy their business model. During some time away from Cocoa Masonry he ventured into several businesses. He tried his hand on his own with Southern Masonry, CM Systems, and Village People Realty.
Harold was very active in the community. With the kids involved in sports, he was not the type that could just sit in the stands. With each sport the boys played he would end up volunteering to the point that he was running the leagues before long. Later in life he joined the Sertoma Club that did charity work in the community.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday November 17, 3pm at Anderson McQueen NE Family Tribute Center located at 2201 Dr. M.L. King Street North, St. Petersburg FL 33704. Following the service, friends and family are welcome to Michael and Shelly's house to visit and share stories.