In Memory of




Obituary for Don Ray Crook

"Don Ray Crook, beloved brother, father, Papa, and friend passed from this world on December 18th, 2023,to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Services will be at 10:00am, Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at the Calvary Baptist Church with Pastor Terry Williams officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Childress Cemetery under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.

Family visitation will be from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at Johnson Funeral Home.

Born October 26th, 1930, in the family farm house in the Olympus Community north of Red River, the son of Joseph Donald and Laura Carl Crook. Entering this world two months early and only a little over 2 pounds, the attending doctor told his Mother not to name him as he would not live. However, a determined and loving neighbor and midwife, with a wood burning stove serving as an incubator, nursed baby Crook to a healthy young infant. Graduating from Childress High School, he then attended Texas A&M where he was in the Corps of Cadets and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. After two years, his father became ill and being the only son, he had to return to operate the family farm where he has continually farmed and ranched to this day. He married the love of his life, Betty Bryan, on June 26th, 1952.
He was preceeded in death by his parents Joseph Donald and Laura Carl Crook. His loving wife for over 60 years, Betty Louise Bryan Crook. Brothers Harold Molloy and JC Malloy. Sisters Maxine Crook Gail, Shirley Crook Barnes, and Mildred Crook Allen. Daughter-in-Law Janice Schubert Crook.
He is survived by children Bryan Ray Crook of Lyons, TX, Terri Crook Cobb and husband Dave of Childress, Mendi Crook Walker and husband Dennis of Childress. Grandchildren Chris Taylor and wife LeeAnna of Tucson, AZ, Jana Junek and husband David of Lyons, TX, Ali Flores and husband Jake of Pampa, TX. Great-Grandchildren Declan Taylor of Tucson, AZ, Trey Flores of Pampa, TX, and Cheyanna Junek of Lyons, TX. Special friend Lolita Smothermon. Sisters Lois Crook Smith of Oklahoma City, OK, and Jo Crook Thomas of Lubbock, TX. Many nieces and nephews. And, faithful, loving, hard-working farm dog “Buddy”.
Don Ray lived his values and devotions. His strong faith in Christ, devotion to Family, and commitment to Community guided his life. Devoting his life to agriculture, Don strived to be a responsible steward of the land in his commitment to conservation of natural resources. His efforts and leadership not only had an impact on his own diversified operation, but also on the county, state, and national levels. He was especially honored in 2021 by the State of Texas when the Crook Farm was recognized as a “Family Land Heritage” operation for over 100 years of continuous production under the same family ownership.
In addition to operating a full time cotton, wheat, hay, and cow-calf operation, Don and his late wife Betty owned and operated Crook Fish and Garden store for 32 years that began as a market for fresh catfish produced on the Crook Farm’s commercial fish operation.
Don felt a strong conviction to giving back to community and being a servant leader. He touched many lives through his work and witness. A few of his involvements were:
Member of Calvary Baptist Church since early 60’s. Deacon at Calvary since 1970. Youth Sunday School teacher for 50 years
         Childress County Farm Bureau Director for 56 years
         Hall-Childress County Soil & Water Conservation Board for 58 years
         Farmer elected member of Childress FSA (ASCS) Committee for 15 years
         Texas State ASCS Committee (appointed by White House) for 4 years
         Childress County Precinct 4 Commissioner for 16 years
         County School Board member and President
         Coop Gin Director
         Gate City Electric Board
         Chamber of Commerce Director
         County Program Building Committee Chairman
         Childress Beautification and Business Enhancement Committee
         Longtime supporter of 4-H and FFA, Adult Leader
Although very humble of any recognition, some of Don Ray’s honors were:
         4-H Leader Award
         Production of Food & Fiber Top Hand Award – 1980
         Outstanding Young Farmer – 1984
         King & Queen of “Old Settlers” (Don & Betty) – 2004
Featured with his picture on the front page and cover story in the “Farmer-  Stockman” magazine – 2004
         Childress “Lifetime Achievement” Award – 2015
         Texas Farm Bureau “Pioneer Award” – 2016

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Childress Regional Medical Center Hospice, PO Box 1030, Childress, TX, 79201.