Feb. 2, 1923 ~ Aug. 4, 2013|
We lost our dear William on August 4, 2013 when he slipped away peacefully at home surrounded by his extended family.
He was born on February 2, 1923 in Eugene, Oregon to his father, Dr. Peter Campbell Crockatt, a professor of Economics, and his mother, Georgine Pitcher Crockatt.
Bill's father was killed in an automobile accident when Bill was three-years-old. His mother, having to work, gave the care of Bill, his twin brother and an older sister to their grandparents, and they were raised in Yakima, Washington. His grandparents were strict with the children, exacting good manners and instilling a politeness that lasted throughout Bill's life. That never dampened his wit or sense of humor, or his ability to be a friend.
Bill had a noble character: integrity, his middle name. His word was his bond. He was generous, kind, fiercely independent. Not wanting to be a burden to his grandparents (he began grunt work in his grandfather's seed and grain warehouse at an early age,) by 14 he was picking apples and pears in the nearby orchards. By 16 he was foreman of an orchard where he hired and directed temporary laborers. This work paid for his first years of college.
At 18 he joined the Navy and was sent to the University of Southern California. Traveling alone, he appeared in the admissions office wearing his sailor suit, carrying a duffel bag, and announcing he was ready to enroll. "Well, find yourself a place to live and show up here on Monday." He was always grateful for the opportunity to attend USC as a young navy recruit, thus beginning a lifelong love for the mostly-winning Trojans. After earning a Doctorate in Dentistry he boarded a carrier as the ship's dentist. When the carrier was ordered to test the newly developed atomic bomb, Bill sneaked onto the deck and watched three terrible explosions, his only protection a piece of brown glass before his eyes. When discharged, he moved to Kansas with his wife and young daughter and enrolled at the University of Kansas earning a second degree in Orthodontics. Before he could open a practice, the Navy recalled him during the Korean War and sent him as dentist for the base in the Mojave Desert. Two years later he finally began practice in Salt Lake City where for forty years he created perfect smiles for hundreds of young people.
Bill was active in the community serving as president of the Utah Dental Society, Chairman of the State Board of Health, and board member of the Rocky Mountain Dental Association. Always a student, he spent time in Arizona at the Tweed Foundation learning new approaches in the field. He wrote papers, presented cases to a prestigious organization, The Angle Society, and was invited to become a member. Throughout his practice he belonged to a small group of like-minded doctors who met monthly, presenting cases, critiquing and learning from each other. He also traveled across the country holding workshops teaching his technique to other orthodontists. That teaching included many weeks at the University in South Africa and provided the added bonus of exploring the wild animal game preserves.
Bill loved being outdoors, skiing, gardening, but especially golfing. He was a founding member of the Hidden Valley Country Club where he hit the first hole-in-one for the club.
Later he joined the Salt Lake Country Club, maintained a low handicap, and on four occasions hit a hole-in-one. He enjoyed a first name relationship with
every member of the staff. He served as president of the club in 1983.
Bill and Betty Anderson were married in 1946; they raised three lovely children together, later divorced. He married Ruth Draper in 1980. They had 32 wonderful years together, traveling, gardening, loving many occasions with friends, children and grandchildren. During his retirement Bill also combined his precise orthodontic skills with his innate artistry to create beautiful works of stained glass which adorn his and many other homes.
Bill is preceded in death by Betty, his parents and sister. He is survived by his twin brother Jack Crockett, his wife Ruth, daughter Nancy Keller (Doug), son David Crockatt (Cam), son Jim Crockatt (Anne), and stepchildren Joan Draper Powers (Jim), Del Draper (Mary), Liz Draper Steele (Bob), and Annie Draper, as well as ten grandchildren, Angela, Melissa, Erin, Jason, Bryan, Mars, Evangeline, Phoebe, Abby, and Lizzie and nine great grandchildren.
The family wishes to think Bill's caregivers Juan Acharte, Pat Jones, and especially Rosemary Silva.
Service will be held at Wasatch Presbyterian Church, 1626 South 1700 East, on Thursday August 8th at 11 am. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers make a donation to Wasatch Presbyterian Church or the
in honor of Bill.
Published in Deseret News from Aug. 6 to Aug. 7, 2013