Thomas "Tom" Michael Crook


June 24, 1941 ~ July 29, 2023

Born in: Fall River, MA
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Thomas “Tom” Michael Crook was born in Fall River, MA, on June 24, 1941. He passed away away July 29, 2023 on his wife Joan’s birthday.

As the son of the late Raymond and Veronica Crook, his early years were spent roaming the shores of the lighthouses of West Chop on Martha’s Vineyard, Chatham on Cape Cod, and Portland, Maine; where his father was stationed as the Keeper of the Light. While growing up in Maine he spent many summers at the family’s lake cabin. Many memories were made at the lake including selling night crawlers as fishing bait to locals and tourists. His teenage years were spent in Florida when his family moved to the Largo area. During his High School years, he met the love of his life, Joan Abbott. They finished high school together. However, they didn’t go to the Senior Prom together and as for the reason, we will now never know. After receiving his degree in education from Florida State University, he began his career with the Pinellas County School system as a chemistry teacher. Tom furthered his studies, eventually receiving a Master’s Degree in Education and shifting from teaching to administration for the Florida Public School System.

In 1964, he and Joan embarked upon what would become their 53 year marriage. Tom showed his love and devotion to her throughout their marriage, but especially as he cared for her after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and through her passing in 2017.

He was a proud father to three children who remember his big personality, desire to travel and love for baseball, especially the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. Upon retirement, he and Joan settled in Asheville where his love for nature and photography began to blossom. Volunteering at both the Arboretum and Cataloochee Valley were two of his favorite pursuits. In 2015, his daughter Michelle and he fulfilled a lifelong dream and hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Aside from being a husband and father, he loved and embraced his role as a grandfather. His grand kids referred to him as the “papa”-razzi as he showed up to every event with his camera in hand. He always enjoyed their visits in Florida, whether it be a Tampa Bay Rays game or Busch Gardens trip. Once all “the grands” were in Asheville there were frequent adventure days that always included a stop for ice cream. Tom was always known to yell “Play Ball” at every sporting event that played our National Anthem. The Enka Jets and Sugar Jets will forever have his support.
Tom was a long time member of the Episcopal Church. Serving on the vestry and as a lay person for first the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin Florida, and later the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, his spiritual journey also led him to partake in several mission trips to the Dominican Republic.

He is survived by his daughters, Michelle Crook of Clearwater, FL and Carol Donahue and her husband Michael of Candler; son, Thomas M. Crook II and his wife, Carol Duermit, of Candler; and grandchildren, Sharon and Kevin Donahue and Camden Crook, all of Candler.

Tom will be remembered as a true family man and supportive friend who carried an adventurous spirit throughout his life.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Cathedral of All Souls, 9 Swan St., Asheville, NC 28803 on Friday, August 4 at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to All Souls Cathedral Music Program or Enka High School Baseball team.


Celebration of Life: August 4, 2023 2:00 pm

All Souls Episcopal Church
9 Swan Street
Asheville, NC 28803


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. Tom and I were lighthouse kids who met for only one day at West Chop Light back in 1946, when his father left to go to Chatham Light and my father took over West Chop. Tom told me, “Let me show you all the secret and neat places to play here,” and he did. When it was time for them to go, his father called him and Tommy said to me, “I don’t want to leave,” and I didn’t want him too either as we instantly were lighthouse kids with alike minds. I didn’t find him again until this past year and how joyous it’s been. So, Tom, you get to eternity first and when I get up there we still have a lot of lighthouse stories to swap off. God Bless all your family. You turned into such a wonderful fellow – I had a feeling you would.

  2. I first met Tom Crook when I started teaching at Dunedin High School in 1973. He invited me to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, where my daughter was baptized in 1975, on the same Sunday as his son Tom II. Our families came to be close friends through the years, sharing meals on Friday evenings and sharing several vacation destinations. The friendship continued through Tom and Joan’s move to Asheville NC, followed by our move there in 2010, where both families were active members at the Cathedral of All Souls. Although we moved out of state in 2014 and Joan passed away in 2017, Tom maintained contact by phone and the special occasion e-cards he faithfully sent. 50 years of friendship…..and a good and faithful servant. RIP.

  3. Tom and John taught together at Dunedin High in the early sixties and we have been friends ever since. They spent time after school trying to brew beer in the garage, which worked great until the day it all exploded! Good times always with Tom and Joan and they certainly had a good life after they moved to the Asheville area. Prayers to the family who will miss Tom so very much.

  4. Tom was a good friend. I enjoyed helping him with his photography and bagels at Brugger’s. I will miss him

  5. We send our condolences to Tom, Camden and the entire family of Mr. Crook. We are thankful for his support of Enka Baseball and will dearly miss him sitting at the top of the bleachers for home games.

  6. I am sadden to hear of Mr. Crook’s passing. I knew Mr. Crook when he worked for my Father at Michel’s Pharmacy and then later when he was my guidance counselor and assistant principal at Dunedin High School. He was a good man. Somehow I avoided getting disciplined by him, God only knows how! 🙂 May he rest in peace and enjoy his enteral reward.

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