Charles Cushman Crooker

Mr. Charles Cushman Crooker, 87, formerly of Clark Avenue, Fort Plain, passed away peacefully on March 18, 2013, at Valley Health Services (VHS) in Herkimer.

A lifelong area resident, Charlie was born on December 4, 1925, in Canajoharie, New York, the son of the late Paul R. Crooker and Geneva V. Cross Crooker.

He attended Canajoharie High School, graduating in 1943.

In 1944, he joined the United States Navy and served proudly during WWII until 1946.

From 1947 until 1951 he attended the Albany College of Pharmacy, where he obtained his B.S. in pharmacy.

Charlie worked as a pharmacist for many years, eventually taking ownership of the Fort Plain Pharmacy from 1967 until 1977.

After retiring as a pharmacist, he worked as a security guard at Beech-Nut in Canajoharie for several years.

He later also worked part time as a rural mail carrier for the Fort Plain Postal Service.

Charlie was an active individual in the community in many endeavors. Charlie will be remembered for his work ethic, community involvement and for his love of family.

He was an active member of the Fort Plain Reformed Church for many years where he served as a deacon and elder. He was also a member of the SAR, Otsquago Coin Association, the Mayflower Society, Crystal Lake Snowmobile Club, Man to Man (a cancer support group) and the Sprout Brook Rod and Gun Club. Through his years Charlie was also a former board member of the Fort Plain Medical Center, the Fort Plain Senior Center, and vice president of the Prospect Hill Cemetery of Canajoharie. Most recently he enjoyed being an active member of the Valley Bell Choir at VHS in Herkimer. He enjoyed collecting stamps and coins but had a passion for traveling and seeing the world with his wife and friends. He will be greatly missed by family all whose lives he touched.

On January 1, 1949, he was united in marriage to the former Phyllis Walker at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Canajoharie. Sadly, on February 9, 2009, his beloved wife, Phyllis, passed away, shortly after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Charlie was also predeceased by his sister, Norma Smoke of North Syracuse, N.Y.

His loving family includes: two daughters, Diane Oster and her husband, Kim of Loudon, Tenn. and Jeannine Bonhoff and her husband, David of Fly Creek, N.Y.; one son, Terry Crooker and his wife, Cheryl of Johnstown, N.Y.; five grandchildren, Stephanie Oster of Clifton Park, N.Y., Captain Gerod Bonhoff and his wife, Major Catherine of Columbia, Md., Allison Stolard and her husband, George of Austin, Texas, Kristin Szaro and her husband, Andrew of Whippany, N.J. and Ryan Crooker of Johnstown, N.Y.; two great-grandchildren, Louis and William Bonhoff; as well as several cousins.

Charlie’s family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all the staff of VHS for the wonderful daily care, kindness, and support given to him since his entry into VHS in November 2008 through his final days.

Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. at the Lenz & Betz Funeral, 69 Otsego Street, Canajoharie, with the Rev. Nancy Ryan presiding.

Relatives and friends are welcome to pay their respects from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. prior to the service. Burial will take place in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Canajoharie.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Valley Health Services Activity Fund, 690 West German Street, Herkimer, NY 13350 or the Fort Plain Reformed Church, 165 Canal Street, Fort Plain, NY 13339.

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