Bill Kroll Remembrance, August 23, 2020
December 14, 2010 at the Sheep Farm closing: Joan Smith, GOSA President, Bill Kroll, GOSA attorney, Michael Tansley, Groton Lenders attorney, Sidney Van Zandt, GOSA Vice President, Sue Sutherland, GOSA Treasurer
We at GOSA are sad to report the passing of Bill Kroll, GOSA’s dedicated and beloved attorney, in August of 2020. He was the son of Charlie Kroll, a former GOSA board member, whose last words to him were to “take care of those people.” He did, and we are very grateful. Bill was smart, tough, strategic, thorough, tenacious and kind, a good person to have your side. Bill loved to drive, and never let a long commute from Georgia in later years stop him. Bill told us that he maintained his Connecticut license so he could continue his GOSA practice.
Although a tough lawyer, Bill and his wife Donna were softies in the personal realm. They could not resist rescuing abused and neglected pets. They adopted a large household menagerie, and transported other pets long distances to new homes.
Bill helped GOSA defend our contract to purchase what is now the Merritt Family Forest against a lawsuit filed on April 15, 2003, by Ravenswood, a competing developer. A lis pendens was placed on the property, preventing any sale, until the suit could be resolved. The case took five years to work its way through superior court and the appeals court in Hartford. Bill led us successfully through a jury trial, pro bono, at superior court, and then arranged the referral to a young Beth Leamon to represent GOSA in appellate court. In January, 2008, the court ultimately decided in favor of GOSA, and with great relief and fanfare, GOSA returned to raising funds and closed on the property in December 2008.
Bill continued his loyal service to GOSA for twelve more years. He drove long distances from his new homes in Salem and in Georgia, thriving with the commute in his prized cars. He always took on GOSA’s contracts and closings for a minimal fee, and never charged for phone calls, emails and simple legal reviews.
Bill was a fighter for GOSA’s legal rights, and against his own health challenges. He dedicated his seeming nine lives to GOSA, vintage cars, animal welfare and family. He was an important member of the GOSA community, who will be sorely missed.