Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1945 RJC

Lewis Croom LEWIS MILTON CROOM, 89, of Arlington, TX - the good Lord called him and said "come take my hand and follow me into life eternal" on Feb. 12, 2018, with burial at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, TX. Lewis was born on Aug. 9, 1928, in Strawn, TX, in Palo Pinto County and was the youngest of seven children by Horace Chilton Croom & Evvie Dora Lockabay Croom. A 1945 graduate of Ranger High School at Ranger, TX, Lewis also obtained the rank of Life Scout. He was a member of the Texas National Guard and enlisted in the U.S. Army to honorably serve with the Pacific Theater's occupational forces of Japan (19th Infantry, 24th Division, Company C) and in San Antonio until his discharge in 1947. He then continued his education at Ranger Jr. College, Texas Tech, Texas Christian University and the Universities of both Miami and Oregon. Lewis married Jessie "Estella" Johnson of Fort Worth, TX, in Jan of 1951 & they had shared over 67 years of their lives together at the time of his death. Lewis entered the National Weather Service in 1951 to began his 30 year career in Brownsville, TX, 2 weeks after his marriage to Estella. This journey took them to locations such as Big Spring, Midland, Dallas and Fort Worth- where he then traveled the ten southern states in an Emergency Relief capacity. One final move came with a promotion to Assistant- in-Charge of the NWS Station in Wichita Falls, TX, in 1970. During the "Terrible Tuesday" tornado of April 10, 1979, Lewis worked throughout the event to help warn many in the path of that catastrophic twister. For those actions, his team received one of civil service's highest honors given by the Department of Commerce, the Gold Medal Award. He retired from meteorology in 1980. In August of 1978, Lewis and Estella purchased an orthopedic boot and shoe shop on Van Buren St, and as a play on words due to the birth of their first grandchild the year before, they changed it's name to The Little Old Shoemaker. Together they enjoyed the experiences of a successful small business until its closing in 2000. Upon moving to Wichita Falls, his family joined Floral Heights United Methodist Church where he served in multiple leadership roles over the years. He was a past member of the Elks Lodge. Lewis was a Disabled Veteran and a lifelong member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #41. He was a Master Mason raised in Fort Worth, a Charter Member of the Fort Worth Scottish Rite, a 60 year Mason and a member of the Faith Masonic Lodge #1158. Mr. Croom was also very active in the Maskat Shrine where he served as Captain of the Guard, President of the Temple Guard Unit and Treasurer of the Unit. Lewis' grandfather, John Wesley Croom, was a veteran of the Civil War, and to honor that service, he was an active member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Camp 606, in Wichita Falls. Lewis Croom was an unashamed Christian, a mentor worthy of praise and a humble servant of his community. His greatest joys came from time spent with his wife, family and numerous friends. Whether it be watching his Texas Rangers baseball, on the golf course or at the lake house he provided for all to enjoy. His loss will be felt by any who knew him over the years. Especially the family he leaves behind who will never forget the amazing man that he was. Lewis is survived by his wife, Jessie "Estella" Johnson Croom; one sister, Mary Croom Yeager (RHS- 1940) of Fort Worth; his son, Lewis Wayne Croom of Wichita Falls; and his daughter, Donna Marie Croom Roland of Arlington. He is also survived by three grandsons: Roy Zackry Roland (Carrie) of Corinth; Whitney Ryan Roland (Regina) of Arlington; Chance Allen Roland (Holli) of Mountlake Terrace, WA. He also enjoyed the love of his many great-grandchildren: Alex, Levi, Paxton, Brady, Faith, Trisha and Hailee. James Croom (RHS-1944) was his brother.