xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

J. Edward Crooks Jr., former Baltimore County Fire Department official, dies

J. Edward Crooks, Jr. spent four decades as a firefighter in Baltimore County and as a volunteer, and enjoyed tinkering with vintage gasoline engines and his life on his Breezy Meadows farm.
J. Edward Crooks, Jr. spent four decades as a firefighter in Baltimore County and as a volunteer, and enjoyed tinkering with vintage gasoline engines and his life on his Breezy Meadows farm.

J. Edward Crooks Jr., a retired Baltimore County Fire Department official and volunteer firefighter, died Thursday from cancer at his Upperco home. He was 80.

John Edward Crooks Jr., son of John Edward Crooks Sr., a plumber, and his wife, Marjorie Louise McGuire Crooks, was born in Baltimore and raised in Owings Mills.

Advertisement

A graduate of Milford Mill High School, Mr. Crooks began his nearly 40-year career as firefighter when he joined the Baltimore County Fire Department in the early 1960s.

Mr. Crooks, who never used his first name and went by Ed, also was known as “Chief” and “Spanky,” family members said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“He went through all the ranks until he was named deputy chief in the late 1980s and his office was in Towson,” said his son, J. Ross Crooks of Upperco.

He retired from Baltimore County in 1992 and had been a lifetime member of the Owings Mills and Upperco Volunteer fire companies.

Mr. Crooks enjoyed living on his 14-acre Breezy Meadows Farm where he raised Hereford cattle and liked to spend time with his family.

He was a collector of tractors and vintage one-cylinder gasoline engines that were called one-lungers and make a distinct “pop, woosh, woosh,woosh, pop” sound when in operation. The engines date to the early 20th century and were used by farmers to assist in chores that had previously been done manually.

Advertisement

Mr. Crooks was a lifetime member of the Maryland Steam Historical Society.

He was married for 50 years to the former Kathryn Louise Martin who died last year.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 E. Padonia Road, Timonium. Social distancing will be observed and masks are optional, family members said.

Mr. Crooks is survived by a son, J. Ross Crooks of Upperco; a daughter, Robin L. Freeman of Maysville, Kentucky; and a granddaughter.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement