Ben R. Cropp|
Ben R. Cropp, a fifty-one-year resident of Mercer Island, died peacefully on October 4, 2013, at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington.
He was born on August 20, 1921, to Robert and Lydia (Kellner) Cropp in Oxford, Nebraska, where he spent his happy childhood and early years. In 1940 he moved with his mother and younger sister to Burbank California, where he worked for the Lockheed Aircraft Company. He enlisted in the army in June 1944 and was sent to Fort Lewis Washington. While there he met his wife, Edith. They were married on August 12, 1945 in the chapel at Fort Benning Georgia, the day after Ben's graduation from Officers Candidate School. He served a year with the U.S. army of occupation in Korea directly after the war.
Following his discharge, he returned to Lockheed for five years. In 1952, Ben was recruited by the Boeing Company, where he remained for 35 years. He worked as program manager on many projects while at Boeing, but was most proud of his involvement in the development of the 737 in the 1960s. He always insisted on travelling on 737s for his many trips to Arizona during his retirement. His temporary assignment for Boeing to Munich, Germany in 1966 was also memorable for both him and his family.
He was a long-time member of Sahalee Country Club and was proud of his role on the Planning Committee responsible for the successful PGA Championship played there in 1998. He was a fifty-one-year member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Mercer Island and served on the Church Council and as Council President. Travel following retirement included trips to Europe, Hawaii, China, Japan, and his family's vacation home in Arizona.
He is survived by his wife Edith, his daughter Laurie, and his son Robb, all of Mercer Island, as well as brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. His mother, father, three sisters, and one brother all predeceased him.
His wonderful upbeat personality and break-your-heart smile will be missed by his loving family and all who knew him.
Graveside services took place on October 11 at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue. His memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Mercer Island on November 2 at 1:00 p.m.
To honor Ben, donations may be made to the Endowment Fund at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 25, 2013