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John D. Croft

October 10, 1948 ~ May 1, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old


Lifelong Portage resident John David Croft, 74, died peacefully at home the evening of April 30, 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. His final day was spent with his long time partner and best friend Diane Helm.

John started out in the printing trades at the Pardeeville Times. He left the printing trade to start his own business making crackers, “Croft Crackers”. After selling the business, he made his career at Portage Plastics. In his final years, John spent his time working and visiting with friends at Discount Smokes. This was fitting for his love of fine cigars and Korbel. John was an honorary member of Tom Petty and the HeartBreakers Fan Club, but more committed to the F.O.G.’s of Portage. If you know, you know. He loved golfing with his buddies, playing pool, and walking Portage because he had no choice but to walk. By choice, John never held a driver’s license, so big shout out to anyone who ever gave him a ride. 

John leaves behind his best friend in the whole world Diane Helm of Portage, and her family; brother James (Sharon) Croft of Verona, along with their daughters Shauna (Chance) Crowther and daughter Simone of Fitchberg, and Autumn (Josh) Shaffer and their sons; James and Jackson of Madison; brother Pete (Kelli) Croft and family. He is further survived by many friends and loved ones. He was preceded in death by his father Jack Newton and mother Bernice (Briel) Croft. 

As John had requested, there will be no funeral. We would like to invite his friends and family to celebrate the life he lived Sunday, May 21 from 2 to 4 PM at the Friendly Tavern in Portage. “Joint” us in having a drink and sharing some of your memories of Crafty. If only we could live as carefree as John lived his life, everything would be ok. O

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