Constance Emerson “Connie” Crooker, 68, author of Melanoma Mama and co-author of Doc Jackson’s Letters Home: A Combat Medic’s 1968 Letters from Vietnam, died Friday morning, April 10, 2015 at her home.
Born July 23, 1946 in Portland, Maine, the daughter of the late Rev. Charles W. Crooker and Elizabeth (MacGregor) Crooker Bates. She received her B.A. from Reed College and her J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.
She established a criminal defense practice focusing on the Hispanic community and led efforts in Oregon to professionalize the use of interpreters in the courts. Connie also was the first woman in Oregon to contract with the state to run a Public Defenders office, serving the community of Tillamook for many years.
Upon her retirement Connie avidly pursued her wide array of interests, including skiing, hiking, camping, dancing, singing and playing the guitar. Connie also relished foreign travel and languages. One of her passions was writing and she wrote and published several books including, Melanoma Mama in which she shares her experiences on a cross-country, solo tent camping trip to celebrate her unexpected reprieve from ongoing cancer treatments and Doc Jackson’s Letters Home: A Combat Medic’s 1968 Letters from Vietnam which releases on April 30, 2015, the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam “conflict.”
Survivors include her three siblings and their spouses, Carol and Deane Farnsworth, of Venice, Florida; Charles and Adrian Crooker, of Stoughton, Massachusetts and Catherine Crooker and Griff O’Brien, of Hillsboro, Oregon, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family suggests that remembrances may be contributions to Melanoma Cancer Research, Providence Portland Medical Foundation, 4805 NE Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97213, or to Reed College at reed.edu.