ISHPEMING - In the midst of unimaginable grief, the Croley family wants the community to know the depth of their gratitude for the kindness that's been shown to them since the passing of their son, Christopher "Bubba" Croley in an accident.
"I would like for people to know how wonderful this community is. As a whole they have come together," said Bubba's father, who's also named Christopher. "The way they have come together celebrates our son's life."
"It's been overwhelming," said Jodi Croley, Bubba's mother. "Words cannot say how much it has touched us. People worked so hard for days at Martin Sports Apparel to make the Bubba T-shirts for kids to wear. A candlelight vigil is being planned. We heard McDonald's is doing a benefit Friday. It's just amazing."
Mr. Croley attended the Negaunee Public Schools' seventh- and eighth-grade all-star football game Monday.
"They had gift certificates and a collection of money," he said. "The Negaunee community has wrapped its arms around us, too. People we know have been great and people we don't know have reached out to us.
"We want to offer a sincere thank you from both of us to each and every one of you."
Jodi Croley said she was amazed by the number of people who went to Bubba's funeral.
"It showed us how many people loved Bubba," she said.
Christopher Croley, who works in law enforcement, was stunned when so many in that field came out to support his family.
"They did a motorcade from the church to the funeral home and back. There were motorcycles up here from Detroit and from the Lansing area," he said. "And my boss (Michigan State Police Director Col. Kristie Etue) came in by helicopter from Lansing.
"Everybody did a phenomenal job supporting us. Our son would be so proud of the respect shown to us as a family. It has been truly amazing."
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.