Roland Crooker

GARDINER – Roland Crooker, 56, passed away after a six-day illness and an eight-day stay at MaineGeneral Medical Center from complications of Covid. Roland was born in Waynesburg, Pa., Feb. 27,1964. He was the son of John and Madeline (Tharp) Crooker of Prentiss, Maine.

Roland attended grammar school in Peabody, Mass., and Springfield, Maine, junior high in Lee, Maine, and high school at Lee Academy. He graduated from Eastern Maine Vocational and Technical Institute with an Associate Degree, Architectural Engineer. Roland enjoyed gardening but was more into academics; he was a voracious reader of science fiction and loved cross word puzzles.

Roland was a kind-hearted and gentle person, he loved his family very much and was helpful with his siblings when they were young. As an adult he worked at a variety of jobs but found them not very rewarding.

Then, about 2001, he discovered he had a talent for decorating, salesmanship and other more artistic endeavors. He spent 20 years as a sales representative at B.L. Rogers, a giftware group. He advised merchants about sales trends and often guided them in displaying their merchandise. His sales territory covered the entire state of Maine.

Roland had many non-work interests. He was a founding member of the Northern Lights Collectors Club, whose members loved old world, hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments. For several years they helped at the Victorian Mansion in Portland by decorating at Christmas. A post card of his tree is still available in their gift shop. Several years ago he became interested in antiques. Furniture, crystal, art and silver were his favorite. Then in 2013 he discovered German porcelain. He and his partner traveled from coast to coast and down to Louisiana buying fancy Ohme porcelain. He was a master at identifying the best styles and workmanship. To further his knowledge he joined SOIOP (Society of Old Ivory and Ohme Porcelain), eventually becoming a director, then vice president. He planned the next society convention with much excitement and was a frequent speaker for the convention. He was famous for his unforgettable Halloween decorating and the Halloween dinner parties. He loved seeing all his loved ones hanging around his dining room table carving pumpkins. They were beautiful, true works of art.

In later years he became a Pokemon enthusiast. He could often be seen walking around Gardiner, cell phone in hand. His Gardiner group found him to be an avid and proficient player. With a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face they knew he was happy being with them. While he often said he distanced himself from babies and little children, that all changed when his grand-nephew, Roxas was born. He spent countless hours carrying little Roxas Duma around so he could enjoy the sparkle and glitter antiques provide. For the past few years, he has served as the treasurer of the Pittston Historical Society.

He is survived by his mother, Madeline Crooker, partner, Dan Warren, sisters, Angela, Becky, Sheila, and Melissa.

There is no visitation at this time. A gathering is planned during warmer weather and he will be buried in the Goodspeed Cemetery, Pittston. In the meantime, please be safe.

Arrangements are by Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner, where condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

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