Memorial service Saturday for Chad Crooks

Saturday, a gathering is planned to remember 21-year-old Chad Crooks. This is from his family:

Laura and Todd, along with Corey, Macey, and Grady Crooks, write this to share some profoundly sad news with those that have not yet heard. In the early morning hours of Thursday, 21st our sweet, brilliant, gentle giant, Chad Crooks lost his battle with mental illness and with that, we lost him. At 21, he was our oldest son and brother and a blessing to everyone that met him along his path. With everyone around us, we grieve and love and, in time, we will heal.

Even through his recent struggles, Chad remained gentle and kind, but in the end, made a choice to control his destiny. Chad battled a disease that threatened to offer little hope of using his gifts, making them just beyond his grasp. His brilliance was a gift that he hoped would advance the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of our existence and lives on Earth and elsewhere. Our loss is the world’s loss.

This mental health tragedy is not unique to the Crooks family. It is a devastating, cruel affliction that destroys beauty. Like cancer or heart disease, schizophrenia and other types of mental illness have the same impact, often killing with an invisible hand.

A service will be held at our Admiral UCC Church here in West Seattle on February 6th at 2PM with stories, love and refreshments following. The Admiral United Congregational Church of West Seattle is located at 4320 SW Hill Street. Donations designated in Chad’s honor will be gratefully accepted to aid research in the field of schizophrenia and depression, with details available at the Saturday service.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

39 Replies to "Memorial service Saturday for Chad Crooks"

  • Enviromaven February 3, 2016 (2:08 pm)

    Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers for peace and comfort to your family.  I empathize deeply with the challenges surrounding mental illness.  Take care.

  • Curtis Martin February 3, 2016 (2:17 pm)

    Oh dear, how deeply and profoundly sad.  Love and Peace to all of the Crooks family.  Curtis Martin (Ben and Jacob’s Dad)

  • Chas Redmond February 3, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    What a remarkably wonderful expression of loss. What a remarkably compassionate family. Sorry for your loss, and mine, as I’d never had the opportunity to meet Chad and wish I had.

  • miws February 3, 2016 (3:09 pm)

    Condolences to Chad’s family and other loved ones…..Mike

  • Rr February 3, 2016 (3:10 pm)

    I can’t imagine your pain. My deepest most heartfelt condolences. 

  • Lynn Ogdon-Perrine February 3, 2016 (3:22 pm)

    Such sad news. I remember him as a sweet kid with a sense of humor from middle school. Our prayers are with you. 

  • Becky and Terry O'Day February 3, 2016 (3:22 pm)

    Oh, we are so saddened for you and crying as we write.  We are unfortunately also well acquainted with  fatal mental illness in our family, having similarly lost two of our best and brightest in their early adulthood.  It  is a dreadful and powerful, unrelenting disease.  We are so sorry to hear that beautiful Chad lost his battle with it.   We cherish our memories of your giggling happy young family living across the street from us in West Seattle.  Lots of love from  Becky and Terry O’Day in Bellingham.

    • Laura Crooks February 3, 2016 (11:50 pm)

      Becky and Terry, we think of you often, and this week have hand fond stories of Chad eating too many cherry tomatoes off your vines when he was a baby.  We even have a picture of all of us on your sailboat that day before the triplets were born as a part of the service on Saturday. Blessings to you both. with love, Laura and Todd

  • Susan Draper February 3, 2016 (4:06 pm)

    I am so sorry for your loss.  Words fail me at these difficult times.  May your fond memories of Chad comfort you all in the time ahead. 

  • Theda Hiranaka February 3, 2016 (5:39 pm)

    That is one beautiful smile and exactly how I remember Chad each time he visited me in the Aviation High School office. He was a most pleasant young man with a gentle quiet spirit. 

  • Amy D-D February 3, 2016 (5:44 pm)

    What a beautiful boy, I am so saddened for the whole family.  We crossed paths when the kids were in middle school, so we don’t know the family personally but my heart is breaking for their loss.  What a beautifully written letter about the horrendous impacts of the mental illness poor Chad endured.  Keeping all of his family and friends in my thoughts.

  • West Seattle mom February 3, 2016 (6:28 pm)

    This is one of the most beautiful and sad things I’ve ever read.  I’m so sorry for your loss.  I’m grateful that this young man had such a caring and wise family during his brief time on earth. 

  • Robert Steele February 3, 2016 (8:02 pm)

    I was so sorry to hear about Chad.  I am well acquainted with his illness having confronted it myself for my whole life.  I was one of Chad’s instructors at Aviation High School.  He was always so much fun to be around.  I am keeping you all in my thoughts.  take care of your selves and your family.  It will give you strength  

  • Kimbee2 February 3, 2016 (9:04 pm)

    Reading this – I am so very sorry for your loss. 

  • Curate February 3, 2016 (9:23 pm)

    Praying for peace and everlasting comfort for your family in this time of great sorrow. I am astounded by your lovely, genuine, compassionate obituary. What a gift to others, in service to your beloved boy.

  • sc February 3, 2016 (9:48 pm)

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    John Donne

  • Dano Beal February 3, 2016 (11:12 pm)

    I am so saddened by this news… My thoughts of this beautiful, loving family are many. A generous, funny, laughing, and most of all, loving family that brought so very much goodness to all of us in the Lafayette school community. I know that I speak for many of the teachers that have benefited from knowing this remarkable family…. This loss is profound and touches many. Such great love and affection from every member of the Crooks family whenever they saw one another in the hallways of our school….. The tremendous support from Laura and Todd towards everything and anything related to our school….. Not just for their own children…. But for EVERY single member of the Lafayette community.  If there were ever a family that embodied community spirit, generosity, grace, and friendliness….. It is the Crooks family. My sincere and heartfelt prayers go out to the entire family during a time of such great sadness. You are loved by many.

    • Todd Crooks February 18, 2016 (11:56 pm)

      Dano, thank you so much for your kind words. The love and support we’ve received over the past four weeks has been a true gift to our family. Laura and I are determined to move forward and take on this beast that took our Chad – and Chad is determined to help us along the way. The love and support of our community is a big part of how we are able to do that. It was wonderful to get a chance to briefly talk at Chad’s service and your sentiment that you had learned something on that day, coming from you, was perhaps the highest compliment of the day. Thank you so much and best to you, my friend.

  • Maddison Brinson February 3, 2016 (11:56 pm)

    Chad was such a wonderful guy. We had fun in the economics class that we had together. He always made me laugh. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends. I’m sorry you lost a great guy so soon. 

  • Nancy February 4, 2016 (7:04 am)

    My deepest sympathies to your family and community.  Chad sounds like a wonderful young man.  Our daughter also suffers from mental health issues and, as a parent, it is so sad to see a talented, beautiful, kind and loving individual suffer and anguish.  The what ifs ….  May you find comfort in the love and comfort you gave him here on earth.   Now Chad is wrapped in love in heaven and free of his demons. 

  • Alison Estep February 4, 2016 (7:25 am)

    “We are never alone.

    Not when the night is darkest,

    the wind coldest,

    the world seemingly most indifferent.

    For this is still the time God chooses.”

    –Taylor CaldwellWith all our love from the Esteps — Chad truly was a gentle giant and he will be dearly missed.

  • Norma February 4, 2016 (8:03 am)

    God bless you all.  I’ve known Grandma Pat for many years and met Chad when I picked up my granddaughter at her youth group.  He was a wonderful young man and I’m sorry that he suffered so much.  Many families are touched by this disease.  We are understanding more but we have so much to learn.  This loss is felt by so many in the West Seattle Community.  I am praying especially for the family and also for all of us who will miss this lovely young man.

  • Kristina February 4, 2016 (8:04 am)

    <3 Thinking of your family. This is beautifully written. 

  • Kathy Fuller February 4, 2016 (8:08 am)

    Dear Crooks Family, You do not know me, but I am a friend of the Okabayashi’s.  I had the pleasure of meeting Macey last weekend when my husband and I were visiting.  I am so sorry you have to go through this.  I cannot imagine the pain.  I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you all and for Chad.  He obviously was a blessing here on earth, and I know he is a blessing in Heaven.  Kathy fuller 

  • Ute Herzel-Harding February 4, 2016 (11:02 am)

    After reading this news about Chad, I am simply at a loss for words. I cannot fathom the pain of losing a child. So, so very sorry… Sending you hugs and lots of love through this note.

  • Kathleen M. Lake February 4, 2016 (11:53 am)

    What a beautiful young man. My heart breaks. Your response to his choice is so selfless and compassionate. Only souls who have fought to help a loved one battle mental illness could have written that. Your words brought tears to my eyes and a grateful heart that such love exists.

  • Michael Hackett February 4, 2016 (12:38 pm)

    My deepest condolences to Todd, Laura and their family. You are all in my thoughts.

  • Cpeterson February 4, 2016 (1:01 pm)

    What a tribute to a beautiful person who struggled with a horrific disease. It seems that he was blessed with an admirably loving and supportive family. Today, I think of this young man, who I did not know and his family. May they find comfort in the happy memories of their sweet son and the love from the community, friends and family these days. It is clear from the comments here that Chad was a great person and really loved. May that bring them comfort as well.

  • Gabrielle February 4, 2016 (7:31 pm)

    I am heartbroken by your loss. A friend of mine knows your family and thus, our Bible study group has been holding you up in prayer for comfort as you grief the loss of your beautiful son.  Thank you for pointing out the terrible toll taken by mental illness.  My family knows this pain as well.  God bless you and your precious family.  

  • Jim Lenton February 4, 2016 (8:40 pm)

    Warm thoughts and prayers for you and your family at this heart-wrenching time. May God surround you with His presence and His love as He assures you that Chad is no longer suffering and has received His healing touch. 

  • Jenn Mosby February 5, 2016 (5:45 am)

    Dear Laura and Todd,I was so saddened to hear of your loss.  I remember Chad as a delightful young boy and wonderful big brother.  Schizophrenia is a sly disease stealing the very souls of people.  Blessings and thoughts to You, Todd and the triplets.  Please know that you are not alone.  Jenn and Bryan Mosby.

  • Amber Kormanik February 5, 2016 (8:08 am)

    Todd I am at a loss for words, but you have written a beautiful tribute to Chad expressing the kind of son, brother, friend, and community member he was. I can’t imagine the heart break of losing a child but I wanted you and your family know you are not alone in your grief Chad,  is in our thoughts and prayers.  You and your family have touched many WS families with your hours of volunteering at school events and other community functions and we are all glad to be able to support you all any way we can.

  • Zuppe February 5, 2016 (10:53 am)

    I am really saddened to hear about this. Our thought and prayers to your family.

  • Tara England February 5, 2016 (11:26 am)

    I praise your loving, beautiful words describing your loved one, who battled this horrific illness. Praying that peace descends upon Chad’s family and friends, and that his celebration of life may be full of awesome memories, both the large and small! We are each touched by others in many different, unique ways, and I pray joy is discovered at this time of honoring his life. God bless!

  • Candice Corey February 5, 2016 (1:27 pm)

    This is a truly beautiful expression of compassion and love. I am so sorry for your loss but am convinced from this passage that Chad knew love and acceptance that others suffering may not.  My thoughts and prayers are with your family. 

  • Becki S. February 5, 2016 (8:58 pm)

    I did not know your son, but I can tell from his warm smile and all the lovely memories that you have shared, that he was a wonderful son, brother and friend to many. So sorry for your loss and please know you are not alone. May God bring peace to your family.

  • LaTrey Newsome February 6, 2016 (10:13 am)

    Deepest condolences for the Crooks family. I remember Chad’s awesome sence of humor he always made people laugh me especially growing up in school together since kindergarten. I will never forget this guy awesome kid.

  • Laurie Belfor February 6, 2016 (10:39 am)

    I am saddened by this news. I remember Chad as a gentle sole with a great smile. I hope he has found peace. Ms. Belfor

  • Roy Le February 7, 2016 (11:58 am)

    I am deeply sorry for the loss, the Crooks family has my deepest condolences. I remember Chad as a friend who was smart, intelligent, and funny. His presence was felt throughout the school and he will be remembered by his peers and teachers for years to come. May peace find Chad and his family.  

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