Burton Raymond Crocker, 89, of Sesser, Illinois, died at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, November 30, 2014.
Burton was born in Franklin County, Illinois, on February 23, 1925, to Mary (McBride) and Raymond Crocker. He graduated from Goode Barren Township High School in 1942 before serving in the Marine Corp during World War II. Mr. Crocker served his country during the Korean War as well. He attended Southern Illinois University before he married Jean (Dillow) Crocker in 1949. She still resides in Sesser.
For over forty years, Mr. Crocker was a successful businessman. In 1948, he started his business career as an independent insurance agent and realtor when he purchased Crocker Insurance Agency from his father. He was instrumental in starting two area financial institutions, Rend Lake Bank and American Savings and Loan, serving on the board of directors of both entities. He was also a land appraiser; in fact, he appraised the land for Rend Lake. Burton has served his community actively throughout his lifetime. He served as chairman on the Sesser Water Commission, chairman of the Sesser Area Economic Development Corporation, chairman of the Franklin County Draft Board, and was a member of the Sesser Area Chamber of Commerce. He served many years as Commander of the Bates Post American Legion and is still a member. He is also a member of the First Baptist Church in Sesser.
In 1995 Mr. Crocker was awarded the Golden Deeds Award from the Sesser Chamber of Commerce in recognition for community service. In recognition for his dedication to the community of Sesser, to his family, his country, and for his outstanding character, leadership, and accomplishments, Mr. Crocker received the Distinguished Alumni Award at the Sesser-Valier High School graduation in May, 2013.
Burton was the loving father of four children, Dianna Williams (Curtis) of Sesser, Janet Jones (Larry) of Harrisburg, IL, Randall Crocker (Cindy) of Sesser, and Brenda Kramer (Keith) of Sesser. He also had eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren: Jennifer Lemons (Arthur), Gillian and Cordelia, Laura Marberry, Frances Marberry (deceased), Brett Crocker (Danielle) and Collin, Alex Kramer, all living in Sesser, Tara Grosner (John) and Ingrid of New York City, NY, Loren Jones (Karee), Millie and Otis of Austin, TX, Braden Jones (Courtney), Thomas and Beckett of Gainesville, FL, Erin Janello (Tony), Jaylyn and Aiden of Mulkeytown, Dennis Kramer of Annapolis, MD and Kyle Crocker of St. Louis, MO.
His parents, two brothers, one sister and his granddaughter preceded him in death. One sister, Clara Brown of Sesser, survives, as well as two sisters-in-law, Ruth Ann Crocker of Sesser and Elizabeth Crocker of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser, Illinois. The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Sesser with pastors Harl Ray Lewis and Brother Larry Cook officiating. Burial with military rites will be at the Maple Hill cemetery following the funeral.
In honor of the importance that Mr. Crocker placed on education, the family has set up a Burton R. Crocker SIU Memorial Scholarship Fund. Donations may be made to: Burton R. Crocker SIU Memorial Scholarship Fund, SIU Foundation, 1235 Douglas Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901.