Clifford Crook III passed away on Monday, October 8, 2018, at the Hospice Care Center Edgewater, Florida in the presence of his loving wife, Lynn. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lynn Crook, his daughter, Courtney Mann, his daughter, Stephanie Bellafiore, his son-in-law, Ian Bellafiore, and his two granddaughters, Aidia and Kira Bellafiore.
As Cliff would say, it’s the same ol’ story about a boy from Baltimore, born on May 13, 1941, in Catonsville, MD. He spent his childhood and high school years in Catonsville and Ocean City, MD. His love of nature started in Ocean City, spending his days crabbing with his cousins, playing in the ocean and working as a beach stand operator(while bleaching his hair).
Lacrosse took him to Geneva, NY, where he attended Hobart College. He spoke often of these days as one of the best experiences of his life. Here, he developed cherished lifelong friendships and the knowledge of what it truly meant to be a Statesman. After being commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps program for the Air Force, Cliff earned his J.D. degree from University of Maryland. Cliff was stationed at Beale AFB, California, where he served as a JAG officer. He was transferred to De Nang AB, Vietnam to complete his tour of duty. Upon returning to the states, he became the Chief Law Clerk for the District Court of Baltimore, MD. After a few years, he started his career in D.C., first as an associate/special partner for Wilkes Artis, then as Assistant Legal Counsel for Legal Services Corporation. He continued his work for the government as General Counsel at the Department of Energy. He took a couple of years to become Legal Counsel for the Peace Corps before returning to the DOE, where he finished his career.
Cliff always maintained that what helped him get through his law career was the valued friendships he made, his family, and his love of travel. While building his career, Cliff enjoyed being a father to his two daughters, Stephanie and Courtney, and a husband to his favorite lady, A. Lynn. In Adelphi, MD, he helped create Club Mitch, a community of friends and neighbors that became family. Tales are still being told of these days. Cliff continued to build this “family” throughout his many travels. His love of nature and all of God’s creatures took him and his family out West numerous times. Cliff found a piece of his soul out West and held those trips and the people close to his heart. He also returned to Ocean City, MD. He spent several years there inviting more people into his “family”, before moving with Lynn to New Smyrna Beach, FL.
In NSB, Cliff discovered his favorite occupation, being Papa(Pe) to his granddaughters, Aidia and Kira. He loved exposing them and his to son-in-law, Ian, to his love of the arts and travel. When he was off duty, he was busy talking about his family to everyone he met, from his pals at Ruthy’s to his co-volunteers at Blind Services and Winter Park Playhouse.
Cliff loved life and everyone and every stray cat he met along his journey. He spent his days letting people know he loved them and how wonderful, wonderful life could be. He would not want us to dwell too long on his passing. Rather, he would want us to look forward and remember, he is “absent from the body and home with the Lord.” Cliff wished for everyone to be kind to themselves and others and to “be safe out there.”
Cliff did not want any funeral services. In lieu of flowers, he and the family request donations to be made in his name to Halifax Health Hospice
To make a charitable donation check by mail, please mail to:
Halifax Health – Hospice, Fund Development
3800 Woodbriar Trail
Port Orange, FL 32169