Published in Kalamazoo
Gazette on August 18, 2010
CROCKER, David Gene
November 2, 1933 - August 13, 2010
David died peacefully
in the presence of family at the University of Michigan Hospital on August
13, 2010. David was born in Chelsea, Michigan on November 2, 1933, to
Jean Turnbull Crocker and Berchman E. Crocker.
David met his future wife and the love of his life, Doris Haist, while
attending Chelsea High School. David and Doris were married on October
David loved sports and excelled athletically. He played baseball and basketball
at Chelsea High School. As a senior, David's record breaking year lead
the Chelsea Bulldogs basketball team to a State Championship. David's
efforts earned a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Michigan.
While his career in basketball was brief, the friendships he made with
teammates at Chelsea High School and the University of Michigan endured
for the remainder of his life.
In the years following high school, David's pitching skills gave him the
opportunity to sign and play with the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles
baseball organization. He played in the organization's farm development
system in York, Hannibal, Anderson, and Aberdeen. During this wonderful
adventure, David was on the road for weeks on end. He often bragged that
he earned an additional $50 a month driving the team bus.
David enjoyed sports and attended the University of Michigan and Western
Michigan University intending to become a coach. His career took an alternate
path when an academic counselor suggested that David enroll in a special
program which simultaneously granted undergraduate and law degrees.
Following in the steps of his grandfather and great-grandfather, David
pursued a career in law, receiving an undergraduate and law degree from
the University of Michigan in 1958.
After serving as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Marine
Corp from 1958 through 1961, David moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan to practice
law. David began his practice with the law firm of Stapleton, Adams, Kidston
& Crocker. Thereafter, David moved his practice to Early, Starbuck
David enjoyed thirty-six years in practice with Early, Starbuck &
Lennon (with the law firm's name changing twice. Initially to Early, Lennon,
Peters & Crocker and then to Early, Lennon, Crocker & Bartosiewicz).
For over thirty years, David served as General Counsel for Borgess Medical
In 2008, David moved his practice to Crocker & Crocker, PC. David
relished legal challenges and actively practiced law with his two sons
until shortly before his death.
David enjoyed spending free time on and near water. As a child, David
spent long summers at Sugarloaf Lake and Cavanaugh Lake in Washtenaw County.
As an adult, David summered on Gull Lake Island and on Lake Michigan;
eventually making South Haven his primary residence.
David loved watching his grandchildren participate in sporting events.
Depending on the season, he made time to watch each of his five grandchildren
play baseball or softball; soccer or football; basketball or tennis. Although
a quiet man, friends remark that conversations involving his grandchildren
made him almost chatty.
David was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Douglas David.
Surviving family members include his wife and companion of nearly 60 years;
Doris, their children; Blake (Nikki) and Patrick (Krista), and his beloved
grandchildren; Davis, Avery, Reed, Abigail and Josephine.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be most gratefully received by the
University of Michigan Cancer Center.
A celebration of David's life will take place on September 19, 2010 from
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Gull Lake Country Club, Richland, Michigan.