Allen Crocker Obituary
Allen Carroll Crocker, M.D., 85 of Natick, MA (and Gloucester, MA) passed away peacefully on Sunday October 23, 2011 at Newton/Wellesley Hospital from respiratory failure several months after surgery to treat a non-malignant brain tumor. Beloved husband of 58 years to Margarete Crocker of Natick (and Gloucester), devoted father to Elli Crocker Morse and her husband, John Morse, of Newton, MA; Philip Crocker and his wife, Nina, of Irving, TX; and Monica Doyon and her husband, David, of Oxford, MA. He was so proud of his nine grandchildren: Rita, Sonya, and Irene Crocker; Kelsey, Ethan, and Chloe Doyon; and Alexander, Brittany, and Evan Morse. Allen also leaves many extended family members in Germany and England and elsewhere in the U.S. Allen was born on Christmas Day, 1925 in Boston, MA to Ernest and Frieda Crocker. He was a graduate of Belmont High School, M.I.T (1944), and Harvard Medical School (1948). He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a first lieutenant and captain from 1951-53 and was stationed in Nurnberg, Germany. It was there he met his wife, Marga. Dr. Crocker began his clinical training in pediatrics at Childrens Hospital in Boston in 1948 and continued in his medical practice at the hospital until his retirement in June 2009. He was director of the Developmental Evaluation Clinic from 1967-1993 and Program Director of the Institute for Community Inclusion from 1993-2009. He was a pioneer in the field of developmental pediatrics. He wrote scores of articles and book chapters on genetic diseases and developmental disabilities, and co-authored and edited several seminal books in the field: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (now in its 4th edition), Medical Care for Children & Adults with Development Disabilities (now in its 2nd edition), and HIV Infection and Developmental Disabilities. He was a Senior Associate in Medicine at Childrens Hospital from 1966-2009. In addition to his clinical practice, he was Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, & Health at Harvard School of Public Health. He cherished his role as teacher and mentor. Dr. Crocker served on several editorial boards for publications such as the Down Syndrome Quarterly and the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health; as well as sitting on the boards of many non-profit agencies and consumer groups including the Boston College Campus School, Ironstone Therapy, Inc., National Down Syndrome Congress, National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, and National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association. He also was on several advisory councils for state agencies including the Bureau of Family and Community Health (Dept. of Public Health) and the Governors Commission on Mental Retardation. He was the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards and several awards are named in his honor (e.g. the Allen C. Crocker Award is given at each annual meeting of the New England Regional Genetics Group and a similar award is presented through the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress each year). Allen was a lover of poetry, art, music, literature, oysters, wine, and nature (he could identify almost every native plant, marine invertebrate, and insect species) | and he liberally shared his passions with others. He found comfort and peace sitting on the deck in Gloucester with a view of Niles Pond and Brace Cove. Allens lifetime motto (taken from his days as an Eagle Scout) was, Leave the campsite better than you found it. This he certainly did. The world is better for his presence. Burial will be private. All are invited to a celebration of Allen C. Crockers life on Sunday, November 13th at 2:30 P.M. at the First Unitarian Society in Newton, 1326 Washington Street, West Newton 02465. A reception will follow in the adjacent parish hall. (Parking is available in the bank parking lot next door as well as on the street). Donations in his memory may be made to the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (payable to MDSC) for the Allen C. Crocker Self-Advocate Internship Fund to 20 Burlington Mall Road, Suite 261, Burlington, MA 01803 or by visiting http://mdsc.kintera.org/crockerfund. John Everett & Sons Funeral Home in Natick is handling arrangements, where an on-line guest book is available at www.everettfuneral.com.
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