Peggy Croll is proof that it’s never too late to share the books you have in you, with one just published and two more on the way.
The 94-year-old resident of Caliche Senior Living in Casa Grande has published her autobiography My First Hundred Years.
“It’s certainly not John Wayne’s biography,” she laughs. “I’m not famous, but I still have a story to tell.”
Self-published through Palmetto Publishing, the memoir tells her story of growing up as a beekeeper’s daughter in Middletown, Ohio. Her father sold honey from their house for $10 a pound and enlisted Peggy’s help in the business, teaching her financial responsibility from an early age.
She does recall being discouraged from applying for a scholarship because she didn’t want to be a nurse or teacher, the only two professions her father deemed suitable for women.
“All my father ever inspired me to do was work and eat honey,” Peggy says.
Art was her favorite subject in school, and her art contest rivalry with a classmate slowly turned him into her high school sweetheart: “Always, when there were contests for advertising, posters, flyers for special events, we would compete. And we both always won, either I won first place and he second place or he got first place and I got second place.”
At 23 she married her artistic rival Robert Croll, and their union lasted 62 years. “A happy marriage consists of always being open with each other, be honest, and never hide anything from one another,” she says.
The couple had three children, followed by grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Peggy worked at House of Fabrics for many years, helping to set up a new store in her town. Eventually, she and Robert retired to Riverside County, California.
Peggy, who moved to Casa Grande three years ago, is now writing a murder mystery and will soon publish her second volume, a children’s book called Little Joe.
“It’s about a little girl being home-schooled and her family dog had five puppies, and little Joe was the runt of the litter,” she says. “Because he was different the mother rejected little Joe. So Emily, the little girl, started caring for little Joe.”