AUGUSTA — When Robert Crockett stepped down as Kennebec County treasurer on Jan. 1, 2014, a year before the end of his term, he knew the time was right.
“He had developed macular degeneration,” Kennebec County Treasurer Richard Davies said Friday. While he retained his sense of humor, he knew he could not do the job well if he was losing the ability to see what he was responsible for.
Crockett, 79, died Thursday at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta, surrounded by family.
Patsy Crockett, who was married to Bob Crockett, posted this message Friday on Facebook: “After a long illness and a great fight to carry on this journal, Bob passed yesterday. With a heavy heart I am so thankful for the 58 1/2 years I shared this journey with Bob Crockett. His jokes, smiles and stories will be missed by many. His love for his family, son Jim, grandchildren Jessica, Sarah and Chris will remain with us forever.”
Although he had been in poor health, Crockett attended the Kennebec County inauguration in January when his wife was sworn in as the Kennebec County commissioner for District 1, and the swearing-in ceremony last year when she was appointed to fill the vacant commissioner’s seat of the late Beverly Daggett.
Crockett, an Augusta native, served in the U.S. Air Force and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 37 years.
He also believed in public service. Crockett was an Augusta city councilor from 1979 to 1992, and he was Kennebec County treasurer from 2007 to 2013.
Davies had come to know Crockett before Crockett’s service with the county.
“He had worked as the legislative postmaster and was a sergeant-at-arms for the Senate,” said Davies, who served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives and worked in a variety of state positions, including public advocate with the Public Utilities Commission.
There are, he said, two things to know about Bob Crockett.
“He really established the treasurer’s office procedures. Bob developed a process for managing those things and coordinating with the finance director,” Davies said. “And he was a genuinely interested person. He worked well with others, and he worked with young people to develop their skills and put them to use. Everyone who knew him had the sense that he was the kind of person you’d love to have as a friend and a mentor.”
Robert Crockett was a graduate of Cony High School. He was recognized for his service at the Postal Service with the Postal Pal and Safe Driving Awards. He also worked for the Democratic Party and was recognized for his contributions to the Maine Democratic Party with the Rodney Quinn Award.
He was a supporter of youth athletics and served as president of the Augusta South Little Leagues and of the Cony High School Boys Hockey Booster program. He was on the Old Fort Western board of trustees. He was a lifetime member and former president of the Kennebec Historical Society.
Patsy Crockett said her husband had been hospitalized in February and March before he went to the Veterans’ Home, and his family was able to be with him before he died.
“The thing that’s been interesting for me to hear is that just about every single person I’ve talked to said, ‘I was always a little more special to Bob,'” she said. “Each person was made to feel special by Bob, and that says a lot about a person. If we could all do that, how wonderful would that be?”
Patsy Crockett said Robert Crockett had been ill for a while. He had had heart bypass surgery and an aortic aneurysm. He contracted pneumonia several times and was hospitalized with pneumonia in both lungs and a norovirus most recently.
“For someone who has been through so much, he was worn out. He organs were just worn out,” she said.
They were together nearly six decades. Patsy Crockett said it was a good marriage and her husband would have said the same.
“He would have a lot of jokes,” she said. “He always had something funny to say, but he was kind, too. You’re lucky if you can do that. I tend to fly off quick, and he would be joking.”
Jessica Lowell — 621-5632