Charles W. Crooks

January 11, 1924-April 15, 2012

 

Our beloved Hero. He loved and was loved dearly. Known as Charlie, never Sir, he was a loving, humorous and tender man. A WWII vet, a faithful husband, a loving Dad and Pop and always a true gentleman. Remembered by his strong handshake, beautiful smile and bright blue eyes shining amidst his tanned skin, he was adored by everyone he met.

Charles was born in 1924 to Charles and Mary Crooks in Newfield, New Jersey. He had one sister named Claire. His mother passed in his early youth and he has waited patiently all these years to meet with her again in Heaven. As a young child he delivered eggs around town and did mason work with his Dad, then went to work in the shipyards until he entered the service. His induction was on January 28, 1943 and entered active service February 4, 1943 as a truck driver. His service started as a truck driver then turned to ammunition support. He fought proudly for his country in the Hearken Forest in Germany and in the battle of the bulge, a true war hero. His life spared many times, once as shells blasted around him in his foxhole, he looked up and saw all his comrades had already ran from their foxholes, so he got up and ran through the blasts to safety. Again, in clearing the stretch of the Remagen Bridge right before it was blown to shreds. Humble he was, he would have never claimed heroics, his tender heart bruised by the upset of war memories, yet we will remember and honor him. He did have the amazing opportunity to visit Germany again, years later with Sharon, Bobby and Brianne.

After his honorable discharge, he moved to California, where he met his beautiful wife Geraldine. They wed, together with her sister Jeannie and Ronny on April 24th, in Reno, Nevada. Charlie and Geraldine started their family shortly after, their first child Sharon and the second a short 11 months later, Karen. They moved with their two children to Washington in 1958 and then had three more girls, Lisa, Lauren and Theresa. As Dad always said, “I have five beautiful girls.” While living in Washington, Charlie worked as a car salesman for his lifetime career of 40years. He finally retired after having a stroke, which he fully recovered from, but stayed retired. He loved selling cars and always said, “I never cheated anyone, even with the last name of Crooks,” and he didn’t, many times offering up more of his commission for a better deal to his customer.

His family continued to grow with all of his grandchildren. To name them all in order: Erika, Robert (Bobby), Brianne, Alicia, Kassi, Michaela, Alexa, Charlie, Bronwyn, Connor, and Benjamin.  Now, growing still with nine great-grandchildren and one on the way, Maclayne, Jadon, Jace, Gracen, Jaelle, Hadley, and Baby girl (still in tummy) and most recently added Savannah and Carson.  Within his large family he was always known to love. Becoming Pop, because Erika couldn’t say grandpa, he’s been Pop ever since, even to dear friends. He truly was the essence of a loving Dad and Pop, some of his common and last words, “I love you all, each and everyone one of you, a whole bunch.”

In the later part of his life, he moved in with Karen and Jim, almost ten years ago, where he lived a full, family filled life. He enjoyed these years dearly, yet Jim, Karen and daughters would all say they were the ones eternally blessed by this time with him. In Jim and Karen’s home his joy was always being surrounded by the many customers and friends and especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  As most of us remember, his time was joyfully spent with his family, friends, holidays, including his Christmas tie that only he could pull off, the price is right, crossword puzzles, casino trips, music, sunbathing, and extraordinary vacations. He was very fortunate to travel to some of his lifetime dream destinations, going back to New Jersey yearly with Karen and Lauren, to visit his daughter Theresa and grandchildren, his hometown, monuments and his childhood friends.  He also took the entire Crooks clan and offspring to New Jersey, to walk with him down memory lane and the famed Italian Festival. He was also blessed to go on a cruise to Alaska with Karen, Jim and Stansbury family, and Hawaii, most recently with Karen, Jim, Sharon and Bob to celebrate his 88th Birthday.

To conclude this timeline of a life that can’t be bottled in one short story is a most precious account of Pop’s faith, a portion of his life he would always acknowledge, declaring the many blessings of the “Good Lord.” One story of his later years of faith, was a short five years ago, Alicia had prayed what to get him for Father’s Day and felt she was suppose to get him a bible. Upon receiving it, he began crying and in his gratitude and tears, explained he had been praying and asking the Lord to get to know him more. Following that bible, there were many more stories of getting to know His Lord more, including the amazing healing of his toes when Michael prayed him. He often stated, “I don’t know why I’m so lucky but the good Lord always answers my prayers.”  In his final years there is one thing we can conclude, his heart was for the Lord and he honored Him, and he loved his family dearly, prayed for them and many others daily. He spent his last years getting ever sweeter as He saw the Lord in many things and events, all the way to the end, where the Lord graciously brought him home to his eternal beginning. Now he rests in the sweet presence of our Lord and is enjoying the eternal Son. Dad and Pop we will miss you, but we shall see you again, you are loved.

2 Responses to “Charles W. Crooks”

  • Diane & David Jackson says:

       I have been touched many times by Charlie’s tender heart and loving spirit; I smile now, even while missing him, when remembering how his sweet smile and handsome eyes would light up…I would stop in to see him after my appts.  He was often sitting outside, trying to capture a prized moment in the sun, or in his favorite chair. I loved to spend time with him talking about his good times that he had with his different family members (casino visits or numerous music outings w/Karen, and others). The last ones I remember him sharing  was seeing his grandson Bobby’s shows. When Charlie spoke about music, I saw his eyes light up with such passion and joy, which always made me feel happy, since we both shared a love of music, especially jazz. I fondly remember dancing with Charlie–especially at a New Year’s Eve party at Karen and Jim’s and also at Alicia and Michael’s  wedding reception. Charlie was such a good dancer, which was always wonderful to experience, but also was embarrassing to me (I felt inept compared to him); Charlie’s humility would relax me, so I could just enjoy the music and the magic of his joy of dancing!  🙂   I am so thankful to have met and talked with such a special person as Charlie.
          David and my prayers are now with you, Karen, and all of the family, to continue to be blessed with extraordinary strength as you honor and celebrate “Dad/Pop” on Monday, even while your hearts are aching and grieving your significant loss of the earthly presence of a superbly wonderful human spirit. You have already shown incredible courage and strength, and especially such amazing LOVE, during the last 7 days of Charlie’s life on earth. May Christ wrap his healing arms around all of you, and help you walk through this extremely difficult part of your journey. Of saying goodbye for now. We, too, hope to see Charlie again in Heaven.
    May the peace of the Lord be with all of you.
    Love, Diane and David Jackson

  • Jeff White says:

    Yesterday (Father’s Day), I found myself thinking about Charlie. A warm smile came across my face.

    Simply put, Charlie Crooks was one of the most decent human beings I have ever met. He had a gentle warmth about him that immediately made you feel comfortable.

    I can’t help but think he’s basking in the sun somewhere, or simply laughing it up on the dance floor listening to the sounds of his era.

    It gives me great comfort knowing that When I earn my place in heaven, he will be there, along with my brother… waiting for us all.

    I’m honored, and blessed to have called Charlie my friend. He is dearly missed!

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