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Brandt G. Crocker

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Brandt G. Crocker Obituary
Brandt Gregg Crocker, of 4023 Marian Drive, died at 5:20 a.m. Thursday (July 25, 2013) at home. He was 87.

Brandt was born July 17, 1926, in Quincy, a son of Brandt T. and Lulabelle Clark Crocker. He married Judith Durham Hampton on Jan. 1, 1979. She survives.

Upon graduating from Quincy Senior High School in 1944, Brandt entered military service and was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He attended Quincy College where he earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1949.

Brandt dedicated his life to the education of children and the development of teachers, beginning his career as a classroom teacher at Quincy Junior High School in the fall of 1949. He was named assistant principal of Quincy Junior High School in 1957 and later served as principal during the 1968-1969 school year.

Brandt was appointed director of secondary education in 1968 and spearheaded the bond issue to build the new high school as well as programs such as the Project to Individualize Education (PIE), Education by Choice (EBC) and the Quincy Conference, which, together, brought national recognition to the Quincy Public Schools. He was promoted to assistant superintendent of schools in 1973. In 1974, Brandt was nominated by his colleagues and honored with the "Those Who Excel" Award for Educational Excellence by Michael J. Bakalis, Illinois superintendent of public instruction.

From 1977 to 1979, Brandt served as assistant superintendent of schools in Ossining, N.Y., and in 1979 was named superintendent of the Bloomingdale Elementary District 13 in Bloomingdale, Ill. He retired from that position in 1985.

Brandt earned a master's degree in education from Western Illinois University in 1951 and did advanced graduate work at the University of Illinois. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Missouri, receiving a doctorate of education in 1969.

Although Brandt's vocation was education, his avocations were sports and politics. He was active in the Adams County Democratic Party in the 1960s and 70s, chiefly in support of his close friend, the late State Rep. Elmo "Mac" McClain. Brandt was a lifelong fan of the Cardinals, the Bears and horse racing, and recently enjoyed following the budding golf career of Quincy's Luke Guthrie.

Always a hard worker, he moonlighted for many years at Heintz and Hurley's shoe stores, working alongside owner Irv Schecter and longtime friend and school colleague Tom Gott. Above all, Brandt loved to read newspapers and throughout his life was rarely seen without a Quincy Herald-Whig or any one of a number of other publications in his ink-stained hands, none of which was he willing to cast aside until he had read the material cover to cover.

In addition to his wife, Brandt is survived by his four children, Gregg Crocker and wife Donna of Buffalo Grove, David Crocker and wife Judith Espinoza Naranjo of Coral Springs, Fla., Anne Crocker of Hirschhorn, Germany, and Lisa Crocker and partner Jim Moore of Springfield, and their mother, Marianne Vonder Haar Crocker. Survivors also include two stepchildren, Ellen Taylor and husband Joe of Palmyra, Mo., and Scott Hampton and wife Katrina of Vancouver, Wash.; eight grandchildren, Alana Anderson and husband Dennis, Caitlin Anderson and fiancé Fabian Zimmer, Elise Anderson, Djinji LaBelle Crocker and husband Gonzalo Galeano, Nick Hampton, Lanie Hampton, Ian Taylor and Andrew Taylor; four stepgrandchildren, Jansen Taylor, Sharon Harth and husband Ryan, Laura Chelcun and fiancé Peter Karamitos, and Douglas Chelcun. Brandt was delighted to have become a great-grandfather with the birth in January of Livia Anderson, daughter of Alana and Dennis.

Brandt was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Lucia Crocker; a brother, Robert Crocker; and son-in-law, Fresno Anderson.

SERVICES: A celebration of Brandt's life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Unitarian Church, 16th and Vermont in Quincy. Food and fellowship will follow in the church's Garden Room. Burial services will be conducted privately.

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Church of Quincy or the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry of St. Francis Parish.

ARRANGEMENTS: Duker and Haugh Funeral Home.

WEBSITE: www.dukerandhaugh.com.

Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from July 28 to July 30, 2013
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