Mr. Thomas William James Crooke, 92, died on February 7, 2019 at his home in Hopatcong, NJ. He was born in Paterson and grew up in Clifton. As a teen he became a member of the De Molay and then a Free Mason. While Tom was still 17 he had his parents sign permission for him to enlist in the U S Navy during WWll. He served in the Asiatic Pacific theatre on a search and rescue ship as a gunners mate. Tom was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, the American Theater Medal, the Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. After discharge he tried many trades but eventually decided on sales. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Businessd Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. While working for the O. Berk Company in Union, NJ , he married May. Following his marriage to May, the couple lived in West Orange. While they lived in West Orange he and May were volunteers with the National Park Service. Tom was part of a team that worked for the Edison Museum. He personally helped sort boxes and boxes of Thomas Edisons original paperwork. He also helped with the Ellis Island project. Tom and May also participated as members of the Civil War Roundtable. He had a passion for Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, traveling to many battlegrounds. Tom was also very active in his local church, Patterson Memorial Presbyterian. After retirement the couple moved to Calabash, N. C. He continued his volunteerism in Calabash working for the aquarium and helping with protection of sea turtles. Following the death of his wife, he moved back to New Jersey into Hopatcong to be closer to his daughter and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tom continued to remain active right up until the day he passed. He reignited his passion to paint and painted with a local artist. He researched recipes and was a fantastic cook, treating his family to delicious meals and pastries. He was a dedicated gardener and every season shared the bounty of his garden with others. He had a strong belief in the Lord and was a faithful prayer warrior.

He was predeceased by his wife May Crooke in 2006. He is survived by his daughter June (and Eric) Seal of Hopatcong, grandchildren; Jill Fusco-Wrede, Shaun (and Wendy) McLoughlin, Ingrid (and Richard) Keir, Beth Meehan, and Amber Seal, 12 great grandchildren; Dylan, Matt, Ethan, Brenna, Sarah, Claudia, Devin, Marcus, Gabi, Austin, Morgan, Joshua and a great great grandson; Liam.

Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ  973-584-7264  ( on Friday, March 1 from 4 – 8 pm. There will be a prayer service at 7:30 pm, with Military Honors. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 11:00 am at New Beginnings Bible Church, 104 Bartley Flanders Road, Flanders, NJ.