Willie Gene Crocker died peacefully at Sanford Hospital on Aug. 1, 2019, in Fargo, ND at the age of 88.
Willie was born on Aug. 16, 1930, in Fulton, MS to Calvin and Murtis (Prestage) Crocker. He graduated from Hanceville High School in Hanceville, AL. He enlisted in the Army National Guard while in high school before entering the United States Air Force in 1950. He married Janelle (Ward) Crocker in 1951. Willie was stationed in several states and countries during his military service including Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Dakota, Japan, Iceland, Philippines, and Vietnam before his retirement as a Chief Master Sergeant in 1980.
After his military service, Willie worked for Hughes Aircraft in California and Korea before retiring to Aneta, ND. He became a part-time policeman for the City of Aneta and purchased the Whitetail Bar. Willie moved to Hillsboro, ND in 2014.
Willie loved aviation and had a true passion for flying with his private pilot’s license. He was also an avid reader. Willie was an active and dedicated member of the Freemasons for over 50 years as member of Northern Mayflower Lodge No. 45 in Cooperstown, ND. He was also a Kem Shriner belonging to the Provost Unit.
Willie is survived by his sister, Polly Buchanan of Powell, WY, children, Phyllis (Mike) Reinhart of Villa Grove, IL; Mike Crocker (Special friend MariJo Dietz) of Hillsboro, ND; Kathy Lind of Grand Forks, ND, and Tracey Jo Aslakson (Special friend Tom Panek) of Sharon, ND; his grandchildren Bobby Reinhart, Michelle Reinhart, Nicholas (Emily) Crocker, Corey Crocker, Ashley (Chris) Decker, Skylar Aslakson, and Cassidy (Michael) Laarsgard, and five great-grandchildren Shae & Brodie Decker, Mason & Claire Crocker, and Logan Laarsgard. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Nell, and daughter-in-law Debra Crocker, and son-in-law Harley Lind.
A funeral is scheduled for Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 11:00 am at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, ND, with fellowship following. Visitation will be held an hour prior to services in the church. Burial is scheduled for 3:00 pm at Silent Hill Cemetery, Aneta, ND. Military honors will be provided by Edward A. Broberg American Legion Post 16 and the United States Air Force Honors Team. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Willie’s life.