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James Kling Crocker

Obituary for James Kling Crocker

August 5, 1927 - May 17, 2018
Vista, California | Age 90

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Retired USMC, "One Of A Kind"


At one point or another, every one of us has thought about what our last words may be. How will we say goodbye? What final memory will we leave to our loved ones? When that moment came for Jim Crocker as he was surrounded by his wife and daughters, and as their faces gave away their realization that this would be the last time they spoke to him in this life, he delivered exactly what they needed to hear most: "I'll be waiting for you in heaven when you get there, holding the door open for you."
James Kling Crocker passed away at the age of 90 in the early morning hours of May 17th, 2018, at his home in Vista, California. Jim was surrounded by his wife of nearly 67 years, Betty Crocker, and his three daughters, Marlisa Ferlet, Gail Vokey, and Keri Milligan, when he passed. We never would have been ready to say goodbye to him, but we are so grateful for his long life and the ways he influenced those of us who were fortunate enough to know him.
Jim was born on August 5th, 1927, in Niles, Michigan. At the age of 17, he joined the United States Marine Corps where he ultimately attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant after serving for over 20 years, including in the final months of World War II, in Korea, and in Vietnam. During this time, Jim was stationed at Camp Pendleton and eventually made his way to Vista where he lived for more than 60 years. It was here that he met his wife, raised his family, and started his Crocker Shoes business in downtown. It was here that he started a youth basketball program at Vista Community Church and became a staple at Sunrise Café. It was here that two of his grandchildren lived and where the other four came to visit him. And it was here where his life ultimately concluded.
I was so fortunate to have my grandpa close by while I was growing up, and I have so many great memories of him. But to everyone who knew him well or even just passed him on the street, the thing that stands out most about Jim Crocker was his amazing joy that permeated every interaction he had with those around him. The list of people he counted as friends grew every single day, since every person he came across was worthy of a warm conversation and even a song if you were lucky. I rarely saw him without a smile on his face, and he brought a smile to my face every time I saw him. I am heartbroken that I won't get to share in that joy with him anymore, but as he told us himself, we will see him again someday.
Jim is survived by his wife, 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. If you would like to join us in remembering and celebrating Jim's life, a public funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 30th, at 10:30 a.m. at Allen Brothers Mortuary in Vista followed by a Military Honors Ceremony at Miramar National Cemetery at 1:00 p.m.

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Allen Brothers Mortuary - Vista Chapel FD-1120

1315 S. Santa Fe Avenue
Vista, CA 92083
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