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Bill Jack Crooke, 81, of Pendleton, died Feb. 27, 2007, at his home after a long illness.
His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Berean Baptist Church (the former Calvary Baptist Church) at 8 N.W. Ninth St., in Pendleton. Pastor Carl LeTourka will officiate.
He was born on April 4, 1925, at Meridian, Idaho, to Ruth Ester and Jack Crooke. He was raised by his grandmother, Mrs. White, in the Meridian, Idaho, area. He attended school there until he went to live with his father and stepmother at Union at the age of 15.
When he was 17 he joined the U.S. Navy. He served in Espirito Santo and in the New Hebrides Islands during World War II as an aviation mechanic’s mate.
Bill married Donna McGovern of Baker City in 1947. Two years later he joined the U.S. Army for more education on police work.
He went to Korea, was wounded and came home and went to work as a policeman in several places. He was a part of the Pendleton Police force from 1955 to 1958. He then went to work for the Forest Service. He and his wife took in many foster children over 14 years.
Bill was also a school bus driver for the Kilby family for 17 years. In 1996 he retired from 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.
Bill was good-natured, loved children and had many friends and family members who loved him very much, his family said. He and his wife would have been married for 60 years on April 5, 2007.
Survivors include his wife at home in Pendleton; sons, Anthony, Rosco and Joey; two brothers, Bob and Bryon Crooke, both of Nampa, Idaho; grandsons, Jack and Pete Crooke and Craig Rodriguez; granddaughters, Ella Rodriguez and Yvonne Hunt; and 10 great-grandchildren.
His daughter, Kathleen, died in August.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Berean Baptist Church, 8 N.W. Ninth St., Pendleton, OR 97801.
Burns Mortuary of Pendleton was in charge of arrangements.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 6, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor