Wilmington – Gene “Don” McDonald Croom, 83, of Wilmington, NC died on Monday, March 22, 2021 at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. Don died the way he lived, surrounded by family.
Don was born in Wilmington, NC on August 21, 1938, the son of the late Robert Stephen Croom and Margaret Bulluck Croom. Don attended Wrightsboro Elementary School, Chestnut St. Junior High, and graduated from New Hanover High School, Class of 1957.
Don met the love of his life, Jane Hardy Croom while in junior high school. The two married on September 25th,1960. This year, the two celebrated their 60th anniversary.
In addition to his wife, Don is survived by his two sons, Gene “Mac” McDonald Croom, Jr. ,wife Amy Watson Croom and James “Scott” Croom, wife Stephanie Croom. His greatest joy was found in his grandchildren who affectionately called him “Gaggy”. He is survived by his 5 grandsons, Gene “Trey” M. Croom, III (fiancé Rena Poulson), Andrew Hyatt Croom, James “Jac” Alexander Croom, Clay Stephen Croom, Camden Wyndel Croom and granddaughters, Sydney Bannerman (Jon),Maisy Lynn Croom. Also surviving are his sister, Margaret “Mickey” Stanland, sister-in-laws Jean Hardy Wells (Fred) Gayle Croom, and Janice Hardy along with numerous family members and friends in the Wilmington area.
Don was predeceased by his brothers, James “Jimmy” William Croom, Robert “Steve” Stephen Croom, Jr, a grandson, James Scott Croom II, brother-in-laws, Alva Stanland and Rex Hardy.
Don was a beautiful craftsman and machinist. There were few things he could not build or fix. He was always working on a project or helping friends and family fix something. Don will be remembered by all the things he made- cabinets, beds, picture frames, buildings, shelves, lots of shelves.
Don began his career with Allied Chemical and retired after 35 years working with Occidental Chemical where he was respected for his work ethic and skill.
An avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting, fishing, and watching his grandsons play baseball or any other sport. In later years, he didn’t kill much, rather just enjoyed his time in the woods and the fellowship of his fellow hunters at the hunting club. His family’s home on Black River was his favorite place either fishing or entertaining family.
Graveside funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 AM Thursday, March 25, 2021, at Greenlawn Memorial Park. The Reverend Bryan Blackwell will conduct the service.
The family will see friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice or to his church, Pine Valley Baptist in Wilmington, N.C.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403