Bill Jack Crooke, 81, of Pendleton and formerly of Union, died Feb. 27 at his home after a long illness. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Berean Baptist Church (formerly Calvary Baptist), 8 NW Ninth St., Pendleton, with Pastor Carl LeTourka officiating. Arrange-ments are under the direction of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton.
Mr. Crooke was born April 4, 1925, to Ruth Ester and Jack Crooke in Meridian, Idaho. He was raised by his grandmother, Mrs. White, in the Meridian area and attended school there until he went to live with his father and stepmother in Union at the age of 15.
When he was 17, Bill joined the Navy and served in Espirito Santo and in the New Hebrides Islands during World War II as an aviation mechanic’s mate.
In 1947 he married Donna McGovern from Baker City.
Two years later, he joined the Army for further education in police work. He went to Korea, where he was wounded. When he returned to the states he was employed as a policeman in several places. He worked for the Pendleton Police Department from 1955 to 1958. He then went to work for the Forest Service.
Mr. Crooke and his wife took in many foster children over 14 years. He was also a school bus driver for the Kilby family for 17 years.
In 1996 he retired driving bus to assist running his family’s homes for elderly people.
He became a born-again Christian in 1954 and served in Baptist churches until he became too ill to attend worship regularly. Mr. Crooke was good-natured, loved children and had many friends. He would have been married for 60 years April 5.
Survivors include his wife, Donna of Pendleton; sons, Anthony, Rosco and Joey; brothers, Bob Crooke and Bryon Crooke, both of Nampa, Idaho; and five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathleen, last August.
Memorials may be made to the Berean Baptist Church, 8 NW Ninth Street, Pendleton 97801.
The Observer – Obituaries for the week ending Mar. 3, 2007 Published: March 3, 2007