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Kathleen Wilson Crooks


Last updated 11/20/2013 at 1:10pm

Kathleen Wilson Crooks

Kathleen W. Crooks, 90, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., formerly of Brevard, died Oct. 28, 2013, at her home.

Born in Ware Shoals, S.C., Oct. 5, 1923, she was the daughter of the late William Arthur Wilson and Sue Henderson Wilson. Her husband of 66 years, Lt. Col. Robert D. Crooks, passed away Nov. 1, 2010, after suffering a massive stroke.

She died peacefully in her home of over 40 years, after being in declining health for some years. Her son, Marc Crooks, was her primary caregiver and had lived with his parents for several years. Her daughter, Lisa Crooks Rasmussen, of Morehead City, N.C., also spent several weeks at a time periodically throughout the years caring for her.

Three weeks prior to her death, her entire family surrounded her as they helped her celebrate her 90th birthday. Present for that momentous occasion were her two children, Lisa Crooks Rasmussen and husband, Palle and their daughter, Stephanie Rasmussen Forte; her son, Marc Crooks and his special friend, Collette, and his two sons, Nick Crooks and wife, Stacy, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Orrin Crooks and wife, Renee, and their two sons, Andrew and Austin, of Fruitport, Mich .; her only sister, Dottie Wilson Tinsley, of Brevard and her niece, Camellia Tinsley Ellenberger, were also present in Sierra Vista for this special event.

She moved to Rosman with her parents and sister in November of 1926 when her father was offered a position as a civil engineer with Joseph Silversteen. She began first grade in Rosman. In 1932, the family moved to Brevard where she continued her education, graduating from 7th grade at the top of her class, becoming valedictorian and earning the D.A.R. History Medal.

She graduated from Brevard High School as valedictorian, as well as being voted the most popular girl in the 1940 graduating class. She entered Brevard Junior College in the fall of 1940, graduated with honors in 1942, and enrolled as a junior at Furman University, in Greenville, S.C., where she graduated magnum cum laude in 1944, majoring in economics.

While a student at Furman, she met an Air Force cadet from the Greenville Air Force Base, Lt. Robert D. Crooks, whom she married Aug. 19, 1944. As an Air Force officer's wife, she was able to live all over the United States and overseas and lived in the Philippines for a short time during World War II.

Even though her life kept her from living in her beloved mountains, and destined them to travel around the world, she always came back to North Carolina and the mountains she loved as often as she could. One of her favorite places was Pisgah National Forest. She never forgot her friends.

She was an avid knitter. Other lifetime interests included research of the family histories. She did considerable research on the Wilson and Henderson families, continuing her research by visiting Scotland and Ireland in search of ancestors.

She held leadership positions in the Southern Arizona Scottish Society and was very active in the Tombstone Chapter of the D.A.R., was elected Regent and served her chapter with distinction.

She and her husband were "birders," often traveling hundreds of miles to see, photograph and document the sighting of a rare bird.

Blessed to live a long, productive life, she leaves children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to carry on her legacy.

She was buried beside her husband in the Southern Arizona Veterans Cemetery in Sierra Vista, Ariz.


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