In Memory of

Carl

R.

"Rod"

Croce

Obituary for Carl R. "Rod" Croce

Carl R. Croce “Rod”, 76, passed away on December 5, 2023, after a lengthy illness. He was the
youngest son of Carl and Charlotte Croce and was called by his middle name, “Rod” by his
close friends and family. He and his wife, Janet, were current residents of Wayland and winter
residents of Naples, Florida. Carl was a graduate of Boston College and the University of Maine
School of Law. He started his legal career with the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue
Service in Washington D.C. where he received the Secretary of the Treasury Award in
recognition of a major contribution to the effective operation of the Department of the Treasury.
Carl left government service in 1975 to enter the private practice of law with the Boston
law firm of Tyler & Reynolds, specializing in corporate law. He was made partner at age 30 and
went on to become President of the Firm until he established his own law practice in 1995. He
provided legal advice and corporate guidance as a member of the Board of Directors of a
number of Massachusetts businesses including V.H. Blackinton & Co., Donelan’s Supermarkets,
Andover Corporation, BioHybrid Technologies and Sensor Technologies. He was known for his
sound business and legal advice and believed that the most important elements of a successful
law practice were honesty and common sense.
Carl was an avid golfer and World War II historian. He often cited his visit to the beaches
at Normandy as one of his most memorable lifetime experiences. He was exceptionally proud of
his father’s service in flying 52 combat missions in a B 24 Liberator during WWII.
He is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Janet, his daughter and her husband,
Jennifer Fowler and Mike Fowler of Billerica; his daughter and her husband, Dr. Brenda Walkey
and Dr. Allan Walkey of Newton and his son and his husband, Paul Croce & Nick Rufca of Los
Angeles, California. He had five grandchildren, Anna, Laura, Evan, Nate and Nora who he
absolutely adored. He often claimed that his job as a grandfather was the most important and
fulfilling role of his lifetime. He enjoyed numerous trips and vacations with his grandchildren and
impressed upon them his feeling that since you can choose to be anything you want to be,
choose to be kind.
Carl also greatly admired Abraham Lincoln and considered the Gettysburg Address
(which he could recite by heart) as the most important speech ever given. He often invoked the
Gettysburg Address rule and instructed his children and grandchildren to limit their speeches to
three minutes or less stating that if Lincoln could do it, so should you. He has instructed his best
friend to limit any eulogy for him to less than three minutes.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday December 9, 2023 at St. John the Evangelist Church, 9 Glen Rd., Wellesley Hills at 10 o’clock. Visiting hours are Friday from 4-7PM in the Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington St., Wellesley Hills, Interment will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Carl’s memory may be made to Central Catholic HS at www.centralcatholic.net and the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club at www.lawrencebgc.com.