American Veteran 04

Donald James "Chips" Crookston

May 18, 1923 ~ August 6, 2019 (age 96)

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Donald James “Chips” Crookston


Surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Donald James “Chips” Crookston, age 96, died peacefully at home on Aug. 6, 2019

Donald James Crookston was born May 18, 1923, to Anthony Crookston and Mary (Hyman) Crookston, in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Carol. He is survived by three children, Stephanie Penick (husband Jim); James Richard (wife Barbara); and Donald Jay (wife Cathy); eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

In his youth, Don lived in Akron, Ohio, the fifth of 11 children, during the Great Depression where his father owned a construction business.

Don is survived by two sisters, Margaret (Norris) and Martha (Howard) and his brother, Jim. Seven of his siblings, Bob, Tom, Tony, Joe, Helen, Albert and Leonard are with Our Lord.

After graduation from Immaculate Conception Catholic grade school, Don decided to study carpentry and was graduated in 1942 from Hower Vocational High School. Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy Seabees as a 3rd Class Carpenters Mate, and later was promoted to 2nd Class Carpenters Mate in the South Sea Islands. While on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, Don passed tests for the Navy V-12 Program.

Upon his return to the U.S., he was selected for his course of study at Purdue University in 1944.

At a chance meeting on August 19, 1945, Don met Carol Mitchell in the Sweet Shop in the Memorial Building at Purdue University. The couple was married on February 14, 1947, by Rev. Roberts and Rev. Williams at the Methodist Church in Battle Ground, Ind.

In 1946, he had enough points to be discharged from the Navy as a 2nd Class Carpenters Mate. As a student on the G.I. Bill, he received a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1948.

After his graduation from Purdue, Don and Carol moved to Muncie in 1948 when he accepted a position to teach at the Muncie Trade School.

In 1951, Don resigned his teaching position to form Woodland Homes, Inc., with R.J. Whittinger, L.J. Snyder and Larry Simmons to accept a franchise to construct and sell National Homes.

In 1952, Don left Woodland Homes to work for L.J. Snyder as sales superintendent and estimator.

In 1953, L.J. Snyder canned Crookston. 

Don’s prudent alternative was to go into business for himself as Don J. Crookston, Builder. The business was incorporated in 1957.

After 42 years, Don sold the family businesses, including Tri-C Supply, to his son, Jim.

Don was President of Muncie Homebuilders Association in 1957, a life member of the Elks Club of Muncie and the Purdue Alumni Association, as well as a member of Foundation for Economic Education. Don also was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Always active and involved with his three children, they remember his wit and wisdom, his “Go! Go! Go!” spirit; his love for freedom; his passion for sports (especially Purdue basketball), card games (especially bridge) and good jokes (especially about salesmen); as well as his dedication to take his wife dancing every Saturday night whenever possible.

While living in the house he built in the Rolling Oaks addition, every Christmas beginning in 1955, Don looked forward to helping decorate the large fir tree at the entrance to the neighborhood, a faithful tradition that brought good neighbors together in the joyful spirit of the season.

Don, aka “Chips,” always will be remembered as a dedicated husband to Carol and a fantastic father to Stephanie, Jim and Jay; an excellent grandfather to Andy and Angie Crookston, Ashley, Timothy and Jeff Penick; and Tyler, Benjamin and Claire Ann Crookston.

With all his love and experience, Don has been a World-Class Great Grandfather to Nicholas and Isaac Crookston; Jaden, Peyton and Alexandria Wagoner; Hailey Korbel; Carter and Addison Crookston; and Mariko Penick.

Memorial gifts will be appreciated sent to Indy Honor Flight via P.O. Box 10, Plainfield, IN 46168 or to benefit Hospice services via The Grace Foundation at

Funeral services will be held on Monday, August 12, 2019, 1:00 P.M. at Parson Mortuary with Father Andrew Dudsinski officiating.  Burial will follow at Elm Ridge Memorial Park Cemetery.

Friends may call at Parson Mortuary on August, 12, 2019, from 11:00 A.M. until time of service.

Online condolences may be made to the family in care of




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August 12, 2019

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Parson Mortuary (W. Adams Street, Muncie)

Funeral Service
August 12, 2019

1:00 PM
Parson Mortuary (W. Adams Street, Muncie)

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