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William M. "Bill" Crouch Jr.

William M. "Bill" Crouch Jr. Obituary
CROUCH William M. ("Bill") Crouch, Jr. of Fairfield, passed away on February 21, 2011 from a heart attack at the age of 66. He was the eldest son of William Maxwell Crouch, Sr. of Bridgeport, and Dorothy Ruth Miller Crouch, originally of Cairo, Ill. Born in Bridgeport, Bill always remained deeply attached to this area, where his father's family lived and worked since the 1850s. After attending Fairfield Country Day School and St. George's School in Newport, R.I., Bill graduated from Columbia University in 1967 with a B.A. degree in Art History. That sparked an interest in comics, which he enthusiastically pursued most of his life. Bill volunteered for the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, serving from 1968 to 72. After completing his service, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University in 1973, intending to pursue a career in public relations, but the death of his father that year precipitated a crisis in the family business, Equity Paper Company of Bridgeport, so Bill gave up his own plans to take over active management of the company, which was later sold to what is now Grossman Marketing Group. During the same years that he was running the family business, Bill began to develop a vibrant parallel career and reputation as an expert independent scholar and writer on comic art. As time went by, he contributed articles to major reference works on the comics, wrote his own books, and became a leading expert on Prince Valiant, Pogo Possum, Dick Tracy, and many other classic strips. Besides cartooning, he also wrote for the comics. His work included many Hanna-Barbera comic book plots for Charlton Comics, as well as occasional story ideas for other strips. He became an Associate member of the National Society of Cartoonists and contributed to its publications. During the past decade, Bill drew from his encyclopedic knowledge of comic art to create a unique series of monthly by-liners for the Great South Bay Magazine, a publication based on Long Island, NY. His other writings on comic art have appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Hartford Courant's Sunday Magazine. Bill joined the Bridgeport Rotary Club in his late 20s and remained a dedicated and active Rotarian throughout his life, giving generously of his time and help to many Rotary-sponsored community service projects over the years. He also served for a period on the board of the Housatonic Girl Scout Council, which his mother had headed as Executive Director in the late 1930s. In 1990, Bill married the love of his life, Minh-Chau Luong. He liked to say that she 'completed' him and that she expanded his horizons to include Vietnamese and French cultures. Bill's family and many cherished friends will miss his love of life, his verve and imagination, the breadth of his curiosity, his sense of humor, his generosity, his great courage and resilience in adversity. His friends say of him that the cartoon world has truly lost a great historian and a great man. He was the kindest, sweetest, most loving, helpful and selfless person it is possible to meet. Bill Crouch is survived by his beloved wife, Minh-Chau Luong-Crouch; as well as his sister, Dorothy Crouch; his brother, Miller Crouch, his wife, his daughter and her husband. The family would prefer contributions directed to either: - Connecticut Chapter, 5 Brookside Dr. (P.O.Box 5022) Wallingford, CT 06492 or the Girls Scouts of America- Housatonic Council, 87 Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, 06604-3800. A memorial service in March is being planned and will be announced by the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, of Fairfield Center. To sign his online guest register, please visit www.LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com.

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