Dora Rastelli Croce

October 30, 1923 ~ April 20, 2019

Born in: Wilmington, DE
Resided in: Johnson City, TN

Dora Rastelli Croce, of Nashville, Tenn., died peacefully in Johnson City, Tenn., on April 20, 2019.

She was born in 1923, or “1933” as she playfully professed, in Wilmington, Del., and raised in Paulsboro, N.J.

A 1940 graduate of Paulsboro High School, Dora married Alexander B. Croce of Paulsboro, N.J. in 1952. Their three children were born in N.J., and the young family relocated to Madison, Tenn., in 1960.

Dora was an active member of St. Joseph Church in Madison and a tireless volunteer and officer for many years at the Ladies of Charity Nashville. She enjoyed being a proofreader for the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1974-96.

Dora is survived by her three children, Joan C. Grim (Richard D. Grim), Knoxville, Tenn.; Jean C. Hemphill (William K. Hemphill), Johnson City, Tenn.; and Martin A. Croce (Celine W. Croce), Memphis, Tenn. She was the loving grandmother of four grandchildren, Michael (Kathryn) and Benjamin Hemphill and Matthew and Patrick Croce; her great grandchild Lyla Hemphill; and 29 nieces and nephews. She is survived by her sisters, Jean R. Wachter (N.J.), Rita R. Gallagher (N.J.), and brothers, Italo P. Rastelli (N.C.) and Anthony D. Rastelli (Fla.).

Dora is now reunited with her loving husband of 56 years, Alex; her grandson, Matthew; sister, Lilia R. Trueax (Texas); and brother, John D. Rastelli (N.J.).

She was lovingly devoted to her family, her friends and Notre Dame football.

Services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ladies of Charity Nashville, 2216 State Street, Nashville, TN 37203 or the Johnson City Downtown Day Center, 202 West Fairview Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37604.


The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Dora Rastelli Croce's name.

Johnson City Downtown Day Center

202 West Fairview Avenue
Johnson City, TN
(423) 439-7371

Ladies of Charity Nashville

2216 State Street
Nashville, TN
(615) 327-3430

Memories Timeline


  1. Regina Rose says:

    Jean and Family,
    I am so sorry on the loss of your mother and grandmother. Please know I will be praying for all of you. Lots of love.

  2. Richard and Margaret Manning says:

    Everyone should have parent, grandparent, friend like Dora. Her sparkling eyes and ready wit brightened our days at the Ladies of Charity. She sang nothing but praise of her family. I remember meeting her in the ’70s when she and Terri Puma volunteered at Birthright…and then got to know her better as she volunteered for the Ladies of Charity. How fortunate we were to have her as our friend. God bless the family as they mourn the loss of this wonderful woman.

  3. Mark P Madden says:

    Martin… I am truly sorry for your loss. Your mom was always very kind to me. I have many fond memories of her from ND. Hope you find comfort in happy memories. Stay well and take care of yourself.


  4. Cornelia Laux says:

    Dear family, I am sorry to hear of Dora’s passing.we enjoyed many times together partying and working together at St Joseph. Enjoy all the good memories. I the precious name of Jesus.cornelia Laux o.p.

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