Born: July 23, 1936
Died: May 30, 2020
Richard Keith Crowe, 83, passed away surrounded by his loving family on May 30, 2020, in his Corpus Christi, Texas, home six months after a diagnosis of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma. Born on July 23, 1936, to Richard "Dick" Van Crowe and Dorothy Clarice Palmer Crowe, he was farm-raised for 21 years in Brownsville, Texas.
He graduated from Brownsville High School and attended Texas Southmost College. Keith was drafted into the U.S. Army where he graduated from the 5th Army Non-Commissioned Officers Academy in Fort Carson, Colorado and was named the 1st U.S. Infantry Division 1959 Soldier of the Year.
His career included 23 years as a chemical plant Operations Technician for both Amoco in Joilet, Illinois and Union Carbide in Brownsville, Texas. He served as an Operations Supervisor and Training Instructor in his last four years with Amoco, producing and teaching from a manual he created about Amoco Standard Oil Company processes and safety. Keith became a franchise owner for Snap-On Tools before purchasing a small print shop in downtown Corpus Christi, Crowe's Printing, The Peoples Street Printer, which he owned and operated with his wife, Janis. He ended his 26-year Ink Master career at First United Methodist Church-Corpus Christi as their in-house printer.
Keith was a life-long motorcycle enthusiast and upon his retirement in 2006 shared a three-month ride and camping adventure with his wife through the Western United States, covering 12,000 miles.
After their return to Texas, bucket-list adventures included a one-year stint as an 18-wheel truck driver, traveling to 38 states (San Diego to New York City, Seattle to Orlando, Minneapolis to Laredo). He then served for three years as a school bus driver for the Corpus Christi Independent School District, two years as a retirement home chauffeur and two years as a Walmart greeter. Other titles included: Sailboat Captain (Keith owned a 22-foot Catalina.), Author (He published two stories: "The Magic of Creation", and "Secrets of the Atoms Family") and Blogger: (To learn more visit: http://keithcrowecc.blogspot.com
From the very beginning, Keith and Janis surrounded their family with music and musical experiences. The Crowe Family was often called upon to share their musical gifts with their church families, community and friends. Keith also lent his beautiful tenor voice to the Brownsville Community Chorus, Corpus Christi Chorale as well as chancel choirs at First United Methodist Churches in Morris, Illinois; Brownsville, Texas; Portland, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas. He was also a member of the Illinois Valley Symphony Chorus and Morris Community Choir.
He was a featured player in many of the Laughing Sisters Productions and landed the title role of Mr. Good Man in their 2017 film, "For Goodness Sake" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQkDzKzP-yE
Keith was a lifelong seeker with an insatiable curiosity about the stars, galaxies and universe. He was a devotee of astrophysics, geology, and the study of plant and animal life. He participated in several discussion groups on the topics of theology and religion avidly reading and often expounding his own views in writing. He was a member of the Wisdom Class at All Saints Episcopal Church led by his good friend Jan Hilton, and also attended the Interfaith Dialogue Community of Corpus Christi.
Keith was a passionate and concerned citizen who at one time pursued political office in Grundy County, Illinois. He freely shared his concerns on a variety of topics by writing letters or post cards to local, state and federal representatives.
His family selected the following words to describe him: innovator, activist, engineer, Father Nature, writer, protector, mentor, philosopher, friend, brave, honest, just, strong, compassionate. He was motivated by kindness, easily tickled and good humored.
He is preceded in death by parents, Dick and Dorothy Crowe and mother and father-in-law, LaVerne and Marvin Trickey.
Keith is survived by his wife of 61 years, C. Janis Trickey Crowe; his children: Geria Jo Crowe Elliff of Corpus Christi, Texas; Brian Keith Crowe (Susan) of Sarasota, Florida; Carla Janine Crowe Gardiner (David) of Corpus Christi, Texas and Scott Elliff (Mike) of Corpus Christi, Texas; his brothers: Donald Edward Crowe (Sandra) of Hunt, Texas; Wayne Douglas Crowe (Judy) of Katy, Texas; and Charles Michael Crowe (Kathy) of Concan, Texas; and his five grandsons: Adam Keith Elliff; Micah Keith Crowe; Nathaniel Keith Gardiner; Daniel Keith Gardiner; and Caleb William Keith Crowe.
He is also beloved by his sister-in-law Jo Ann Trickey Cummins (Keith) of Brownsville, Texas; Godson John Naden of Tucson, Arizona, many nieces, nephews, family and friends as far away as Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and all over Texas.
A private ceremony will be held to celebrate Keith's life which honors his wish for no formal service. In lieu of flowers, those who desire to remember him are invited to make a donation in his memory to a non-profit organization related to social justice or wildlife conservation.
His ability to face these last two months head on, eyes wide open, with courage and dignity inspires us to--in everything and everywhere--"Look for the good!"