Suzanne Alice Free-Crooks, age 67, resident of McKean, PA, died at her home on Monday, January 13, 2014 after a long term illness. Born August 19, 1946 in Hollidaysburg, PA, she was one of three children of the late Ernest (Ernie) Ralph Free and Evelyn (Dolly) Lucille Myers-Free.
Suzanne received her high school education in Hollidaysburg. It was through her cousin, Blair Free, that she was introduced as a pen pal to his friend and fellow sailor from Idaho, Richard Crooks. The two met one Christmas when Rick was assigned to the battleship USS New Jersey which was being refitted for Vietnam duty at the Philly Naval Shipyard. Many train trips followed and they were married May 9, 1970 following Rick’s first tour of Vietnam.
Suzanne worked various office jobs in Altoona, PA before moving to McKean in 1981. She then worked at several different stores in the Millcreek Mall, lastly working at Burlington Coat Factory for ten years retiring in 2008.
As a member of the former Millcreek Baptist Church, Suzanne enjoyed teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She later attended the McKean United Methodist Church and also served as a Cub Scout Leader of Pack 73 in McKean.
Suzanne liked to clean and was known to have a well-kept house. She enjoyed drives around Presque Isle and the Erie Zoo, and looked forward to family gatherings near Altoona and Hollidaysburg.
Family members include her husband Richard Orrin Crooks; two sons– Cory Richard Crooks and wife Erica Hedderick-Crooks and their children James and David, all of Moon Township, PA, and Kevin Ernest Crooks and Angela Donnell of Meadville, PA; a brother, Ernest (Doc) Free and wife Sally Reindollar-Free of Wilkes-Barre, PA; a sister, Evelyn (Bunny) Free-McDowell and husband Bill McDowell of Altoona; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home, 306 Erie Street, Edinboro, PA 16412 on Saturday, January 18th, from 11:00 a.m. until time of the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Rev. Thomas Shelow will officiate.
The family suggests memorials be sent to the Alzheimer’s Assoc. of Greater PA, 1128 State Street, Suite 301, Erie, PA 16501.