Charles Edward Crouch, 79, firefighter, security


Charles Edward Crouch, 79, firefighter, security guard

Charles Edward Crouch, a retired firefighter and security guard who was a patriotic combat veteran of World War II, died of cancer Sunday at the Gilchrist Center Hospice Care. The lifelong Essex resident was 79.

Mr. Crouch attended school through the eighth grade, and as a young man worked as a carpenter and at the H. J. Mueller & Sons hardware and lumber yard.

During World War II, he served in an Army infantry unit in England, France and Germany, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge.

He worked from 1952 to 1979 as a firefighter and guard at Fort Howard Veterans Hospital, and later as a security guard at Franklin Square Hospital until retiring in 1985.

Mr. Crouch attended annual reunions of the 134th AAA Gun Battalion, and visited Normandy in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. He was a member and past commander of the Essex chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, and member of the Dundalk chapter.

He cared for three Essex flags -- at the Eastern Avenue Back River Ridge, the Korean War Veterans' Flag, also on Eastern Avenue, and at the Essex Democratic Club.

"He felt a responsibility and pride for the American flag," said his daughter, Deborah A. Stewart of Bel Air. "He never missed a ceremony on Flag Day. June 14th was his birthday."

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Bruzdzinski Funeral Home, 1407 Old Eastern Ave.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 53 years, the former Audrey Felbinger; a sister, Doris Egbert of Selbyville, Del.; and two grandchildren. Another daughter, Kathleen Crouch, died in 1991.

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