John Marshall Crook peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on October 26, 2010 at the distinguished age of 90. John, also known as "Honest John", lived a life full of adventure and love.
John was born on March 25, 1920 in Ripley, Tenn., to James Hunter and Elizabeth Maude Rodgers Crook. He was the youngest of four children, James Hunter Crook Jr., Dale Crook Williams and Robert Lynn Crook.
After high school John joined the US Army Air Corp where he proudly served as a pilot, fighter/ bomber pilot, test pilot and trainer. John enjoyed a successful career in the Air Force for 20 years serving throughout the United States, Germany and Turkey and had the honor of training many successful pilots including one of the original NASA astronauts. John proudly retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force
John met his partner in life while serving in Anchorage, Alaska - Zelia Mae Nicholson, an Alaskan Airlines flight attendant. John and Zee married on April 1, 1949 and together they enjoyed a love for life, travel, dancing, each other and their family.
John was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings, his loving wife and his daughter-in-law Sherri Crook. He is survived by his four children- one son, Scott Marshall Crook and three daughters, Susan and John Brandenburg, Shannon and Edwin Pfurisch III and Tracey and David Hancock. Nine grandchildren, Leanne and David Brandenburg Barrett, Shane Brandenburg, Edwin and Jacquelyn Pfursich IV, John Pfursich, Julie Pfursich, Lindsey Fenton, Otis Crook, Emma Hancock, Claire Hancock and two great-grandchildren with one on the way.
John will be remembered as a true officer and gentleman full of love for animals, gardening, aviation and space exploration and his family. He was a proud member of his community serving in civic and philanthropic organizations such as the Masons, the United Methodist Church and Captain of his local Neighborhood Watch. His family and friends will remember him as always ready to take a turn on the dance floor with his change jingling in his pocket and a smile on his face. He lived his life to care for his family, better his community and serve God.
A celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm at Greenlawn South Funeral Home. His favorite band, The New Creole Jazz Band, will provide the music. His cremains will be inurned at Missouri Veterans Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 6-8 pm, Friday, October 29, 2010 at the funeral home.
John courageously fought Alzheimer's disease for 10 years. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Alzheimer's Association
or the American Cancer Society