Carol Ann Stross (nee Gruenloh) of St. Charles, aged 75 years, passed away in her home unexpectedly on Monday morning the 13th of February 2023.
Carol was born on the 29th of November 1947 at St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles to her loving mother, Margaret (nee Hunn) Gruenloh and father Louis Gruenloh, both now deceased (2010 and 1965 respectively). Carol was also preceded in death by her husband of more than 48 years, David Daniel Stross (2017), her sister Barb Dalton (2010) and her sister Jolene Jungers (2021) all of St. Charles.
Carol is survived by her sister, Judy Ann Francis of St. Charles, her son Darren Daniel Stross of St. Charles, her daughter Stacy Lynn Cronhardt (Chris) and grandchildren (who called her “Nana”) Ella Corinne and Ian David Cronhardt all of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She was also aunt, great aunt, and great-great aunt to many loving nieces and nephews. She is also survived by sisters and brother-in-law Genevieve Kennedy of St. Charles, Rida Brown of Carol Stream, Illinois and Ralph Stross of Bowling Green, Missouri, as well as many cousins with whom she shared many great memories.
Carol grew up in Florissant, Wentzville, and St. Charles, Missouri where she attended St. Charles Borromeo Church and grade school. She attended St. Charles High School where she met many life-long friends (She loved you like a sister, Sharon) and graduated with the class of 1966. While in school she began waiting tables at Pio’s Restaurant on Clay Street. Later, after graduation she began working for the Monsanto Company in St. Peters. In 1978 she began working for the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium where she became a member of the ticket-seller’s union and worked along-side two of her sisters for almost 30 years. During those years she was able to meet and greet the ball players and talk with celebrities she admired from Tom Selleck to John Denver. During her Cardinals tenure, Carol had the opportunity to work under retired Cardinals first baseman and right fielder, Joe Cunningham, in Group Sales and promotions where she developed many lifelong friendships at the Stadium. Carol also loved listening and dancing to Mo-Town (she would bring albums to play at parties), bowling in her 20s, playing cards and board games with her family and friends, and sitting in her porch swing amongst her neighbors on an afternoon (as long as there were no mosquitoes). Carol loved to escape into television shows and audio books or a trip to the movie theatre. She also had an uncanny foresight or intuition that allowed her to pick the winner of a contest at first impression or solve a mystery. She even knew who shot J.R. all summer, long before everyone else did in the fall.
Carol had a challenging childhood in which many factors forced her to become an adult long before most children should be required to face such burdens. As a result, she and her husband David worked very hard to give their children a wonderful childhood highlighted by family and fun. Many nights she worked late until the baseball game was almost over and once home would greet Darren and Stacy long after supper had ended. She often drove the school carpool in the morning and never let her kids forget how much she loved them with “all her heart”. Her love surrounded her grandchildren and even extended fully to all of their pets. She even talked about one day reuniting with her “granddog” Nash on the Rainbow Bridge (please give him lots of pets from us). Though she could often disagree or clash with differing personalities, any form of aggression instantly melted away for anyone facing a tragedy or needing a listening ear. In a world of disingenuous sympathy or indifference, her deep empathy and heart-felt concern is a gift and lesson that her children will always cherish. Carol gave the best hugs, had the most infectious laughter, and wore the most genuine smile.
We will always love you Mom, with all our hearts.