GOSHEN — Jack Crouch, 88, of Goshen, died Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Greencroft Goshen Healthcare, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Jack was born Aug. 30, 1931, in Niles, Michigan, the youngest child of Tom and Minnie Uncie (Roberts) Crouch.
He graduated from Niles High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Michigan State University.
On Sept. 10, 1950, he married Mary Ellen Blackmun and they were life-long partners.
Jack worked as a florist and as a manager in customer service at National-Standard Co. in Niles, retiring in 1986. They moved around a lot before settling in Goshen in 1997.
He was a born people-person – outgoing, energetic, with a keen wit and easy laugh, always ready to help without judgment.
His interests kept him engaged with the community. In Niles, he was on the board of Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve and the YMCA.
Jack went fishing with family and friends on one little lake or another almost every week. He also loved writing songs, sports, playing bridge, researching family history, woodworking, and volunteering.
In Goshen, he maintained a garden plot of his own and helped others keep up theirs. He installed and monitored bluebird boxes on a trail at Spring Brooke for all to enjoy. Jack wanted everyone to feel included.
Jack and Mary were longtime members of the First Presbyterian Church of Niles. He sang in the choir, was a deacon, and advised the Junior High Fellowship. In Goshen, they joined the College Mennonite Church.
Jack is survived by his two daughters, Laura Jean “Laurie” Dowling and partner Ward Kelner of Lansing, Michigan and Martha Louise “Marti” Crouch of Bloomington, Indiana; and by several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; sisters Willemma and Bertha Mae who died in infancy; brother Dillard; and sisters Naomi Schreiber Burt and Betty Burge.
Arrangements are being handled by Yoder-Culp Funeral Home in Goshen, where thoughts and memories can be shared at yoderculpfuneralhome.com.
There will be no immediate memorial service, and later his cremains will be buried next to Mary’s at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.
In Jack’s memory, please tell a goofy joke, hand out chocolate-covered peanuts, break into song at the drop of a hat, plant some flowers, or drive the backroads appreciating the freedom of getting lost now and then. And take someone along for the ride.