Rev. Crockett was well read, an eloquent speaker, an avid sports fan, willing to help others, and enjoyed spending hours on the telephone giving you his view on local and world events.
Funeral services will be held for The Rev. William F. Crockett this Friday, July 13 at Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church. Rev. Crockett died July 7 at his home on Van Aken Blvd.
The Book of Proverbs (18:12) aptly describes Rev. Crockett when it admonishes that "before honor is humility” for humility was the predicate of his life and public service.
Rev. Crockett served as the 36th Imperial Potentate (CEO) of the Prince Hall Shriners, the highest elected office in an African-American fraternal order with rituals and traditions dating back more than 100 years.
Rev. Crockett's succession to the pinnacle of the order's elected hierarchy is a textbook example of dedication, determination and fortitude.
Fraternal services will be held on Thursday evening at Greater Abyssinia.
Rev. Dr. E. Theophilus Caviness, pastor of Greater Abyssinia, will officiate at the civic services on Friday and The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. will give the eulogy.
Rev. Crockett was born on June 10, 1930, in Birmingham, Ala. to the late Rev. Ernest M. Crockett and Ruth McSpadden. He was the second child of six siblings; four preceded him in death.
Reverend Crockett received his education in Birmingham, graduating from Parker High School. He attended Cleveland College Western Reserve University, Ashland Theological Seminary and received his MBA degree from Baldwin-Wallace College.
While in the United States Marine Corps he met and married the love of his life, Laura Vinson, and to this union a daughter, Rysia E., was born. After an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he moved his family to Cleveland. His wife and daughter preceded him in death.
Reverend Crockett was employed by the United States Postal Service, Cuyahoga County Commissioners, City of Cleveland Human Resources Department, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and the Martin DePorres Center. He was the founder of Bill Crockett Ministries, Inc.
Rev. Crockett professed a hope in Christ at an early age and was baptized and remained a devoted Christian for the rest of his life. He was ordained into the ministry at the Shiloh Baptist Church in 1975. He served as Interim Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church from 1985-1991. He was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.
Rev. Crockett served on various religious and civil committees and organizations. He received many awards from these organizations. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He also served as an Urban League Board Member and executive vice president of The Carnegie Roundtable. At The NAACP he served as chair of the labor and industry committee and spearheaded successful efforts to get minorities appointed to directorships and managerial positions with the Cleveland Public Library.
When Don King purchased the Call & Post Newspaper, he called on Rev. Crockett, one of his closest friends, to lead the development of the paper.
Rev. Crockett joined the Masonic Order in the early 1960s holding various positions: Worshipful Master of Excelsior Lodge #11, Illustrious Potentate of El Hasa Temple #28, Commander-in-Chief Bezaleel Consistory #15, Past Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of Ohio and Louisiana, elevated to Thirty-Third Degree Mason in 1983 and reclassified as Sovereign Grand Inspector General Active in 2004 in United Supreme Council, served all elective imperial council offices: Deputy Imperial Potentate, A.E.A.O.N.M.S., and achieving the distinguished honor of becoming Imperial Potentate, A.E.A.O.N.M.S. in 2002.
Rev. Crockett was well read, an eloquent speaker, an avid sports fan, willing to help others, and enjoyed spending hours on the telephone giving you his view on local and world events. He was a giant among men and his word was his bond.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted sister, Shirley Claughton; nephew, Brian Claughton; nieces, Yvette Engram of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Monica (Rousseau) O’Neil of Cincinnati; as well as other relatives and many friends who shared his heart.
Arrangements are entrusted to Strawbridge Memorial Chapel and interment will be at Lake View Cemetery.