With tearful sadness on his passing and gratitude that we were friends, we said a loving goodbye to
Ken passed away on July 7th, 2016 by the home he shared with his beloved wife Barbara in Meridan Plains, Queensland, Australia. He was 93 years old.
Ken and I first met when I was posted to England in 1997. He and his 1st wife Joan lived in the apartment building I moved into in Ascot, west of London.
Ken, an Australian by birth, lived most of his life in England. He was a member of the World's Greatest Generation as he flew for the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II. He later became a Captain for Qantas Airlines, having retired in 1972 as one of their 1st Boeing 747 Captains. In fact Ken was the 1st to fly a 747 into the old Hong Kong Airport, which took tremendous skill and courage.
Ken & Joan befriended our entire family while we were stationed in the UK, helping us immensely acclimate to living in England. After I returned to the US in 1999, I was still able to see Ken on a monthly basis as I flew back to the UK every month on business through 2004. Joan had died in 2000, leaving my friend Ken lonely and quite sad.
However, in but a couple years Ken met Barbara, a woman widowed many years before, as they both walked their dogs on Ascot Racecourse. Their chance meeting blossomed into a courtship and then marriage.
Ken asked me to be his Best Man and Kathy & I watched proudly as they were married in the Windsor Guild Hall in 2005. My favourite picture of Ken & I was taken at his wedding - shown upper left.
It's hard to explain how much Ken meant to Kathy & I & our boys. He was so kind, gentle, decent and helpful to us. We were honored to know him and loved him dearly.
At his funeral on July 15th a video tribute to Ken was played that Barbara had asked a friend to create. It can be seen directly to the right. All the way on the bottom of the page is Ken's entire funeral service - in 2 Parts.
Barbara was kind enough to let me speak at his funeral and I tried to honor Ken's legacy as I recounted what a Great Man he IS and the impact he made on my families' lives.
I want to say a word about Barbara. She loved Ken so much and did such a great job in taking care of him and giving him great happiness in the last dozen years of his life. The last couple years of Ken's life he was afflicted with dementia. And we all know how hard that is on the Caregivers. Kathy & I have grown to love Barbara and we both thank her for the love and care she showed to Ken.
Ken Crook's Funeral Service - Part 2