Craig K Kempf Funeral Home & Cremation Services
723 Old Us 27 North
Marshall, MI 49068
(269) 781-9858
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Charles Crooks

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Charles Crooks Obituary
Charles M. "Charlie" Crooks


Charles M. "Charlie" Crooks, age 92, of Marshall, a long serving and respected retired Marshall City Police Officer, passed away on Friday, November 14, 2014 at Marshall Nursing and Rehabilitation Community. 

He was born on September 7, 1922 in Tekonsha to Scott and Pauline (Whittaker) Crooks.  He spent his youth in Tekonsha, where he attended school.  In 1942 he joined many of his generation and entered into service in the U.S. Navy.  During the fall of 1942, while in training in Boston, he met a cute young Italian woman by the name of Carmela M. Cavignano.  Charlie exuded his natural charm, the couple fell in love and were married in Boston on March 6, 1943!  Mr. Crooks saw nearly a year of service during the battles of the South Pacific on a submarine chaser.  He served as a coxswain, in charge of the deck hands top side.   Suffering from battle fatigue after his year at sea, he was shipped to San Diego to recover.  He was honorably discharged with a medical discharge in September 1944 and returned to live in Marshall with his wife Carmela.  They enjoyed a loving and fruitful marriage of 70 years until Carmela passed away on August 12, 2013. 

Mr. Crooks served the Marshall community as a Marshall Police Officer for 28 and ½ years until his retirement in 1981.   He was working at Livingston's Inc. in 1953 when his second cousin Lee Whittaker convinced him to apply at Marshall Police Department.  He was hired and was promoted to Corporal after 6 years and then to Sergeant shortly after that, serving as the 3PM-11PM shift commander for 20 years. 

He was very much respected during his entire career for his fairness, dedication and as a friend to Marshall's youth.  Mr. Crooks never backed away from his duties when they became dangerous, for example when he pursued bank robbers who he was forced to exchange gunfire with when they fired on him from their car during his pursuit of them. His presence at critical situations in Marshall always brought comfort to those involved.  

Though retired for over 30 years, he is still remembered and respected in Marshall for his exceptional service.  After his retirement he still helped those in need. One winter day he saw a neighbor collapse in the snow in the next block from the family home.  He called 911 and rushed to his neighbor's side and rendered assistance.  He was credited with saving the man's life with his quick action. 

He was the recipient of the 1974 Michigan Week "Mr. Hospitality" Award in recognition of his service and way with people.  In 1989, he was again recognized by being named to serve as the Grand Marshal for Marshall's Memorial Day Parade that year. 

Mr. Crooks was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, and Marshall Veterans of Foreign Wars Claude E. Hale Post #4073.  He loved the outdoors.  Hunting and fishing were favorite activities he enjoyed in his off time, often in northern Michigan.  He chopped and stacked the wood that he heated the family home with for many years.  His quick wit and humor were delivered with precision and enjoyed by all!

He is survived by his children, Charles (Bonnie) Crooks of Brighton, Mike (Carla) Crooks of Battle Creek and Jeffrey (Nancy) Crooks of Marshall, and Terri (Bob) Smith of Lake City; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Besides his wife he was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Mildred Reincke and Margaret Hauswirth, and his granddaughter Mandy Crooks in 2008. 

Friends may call at Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Homes Marshall Chapel at 723 US27 North on Monday from 4PM-7PM where family will greet friends and share memories.  Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 11AM at the funeral home with his longtime friend and former Marshall Police officer who worked with Mr. Crooks, Reverend James Codde as celebrant and Deacon James Mellen.  The family invites friends to the Kempf Family Funeral Home's Fellowship Hall for a lunch. Interment will follow lunch at Lyon Lake Cemetery. Friends who wish may make memorial contributions to Wayne B. Fitch Lodge FOP or Claude E. Hale Post 4073 VFW.  Assistance is available at the funeral home.

To sign the on line guest register and leave the family a message, please visit www.kempffuneralhome.com.

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2014
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