LEWIS MILTON CROOM, 89, of Arlington, TX - the
good Lord called him and said "come take my hand
and follow me into life eternal" on Feb. 12, 2018,
with burial at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort
Lewis was born on Aug. 9, 1928, in Strawn, TX, in
Palo Pinto County and was the youngest of seven
children by Horace Chilton Croom & Evvie Dora
Lockabay Croom. A 1945 graduate of Ranger High
School at Ranger, TX, Lewis also obtained the
rank of Life Scout. He was a member of the Texas
National Guard and enlisted in the U.S. Army to
honorably serve with the Pacific Theater's
occupational forces of Japan (19th Infantry,
24th Division, Company C) and in San Antonio
until his discharge in 1947. He then
continued his education at Ranger Jr. College,
Texas Tech, Texas Christian University and the
Universities of both Miami and Oregon.
Lewis married Jessie "Estella" Johnson of Fort
Worth, TX, in Jan of 1951 & they had shared over
67 years of their lives together at the time of
Lewis entered the National Weather Service in 1951
to began his 30 year career in Brownsville, TX, 2
weeks after his marriage to Estella. This journey
took them to locations such as Big Spring, Midland,
Dallas and Fort Worth- where he then traveled the
ten southern states in an Emergency Relief capacity.
One final move came with a promotion to Assistant-
in-Charge of the NWS Station in Wichita Falls, TX,
in 1970. During the "Terrible Tuesday" tornado of
April 10, 1979, Lewis worked throughout the event
to help warn many in the path of that catastrophic
twister. For those actions, his team received one
of civil service's highest honors given by the
Department of Commerce, the Gold Medal Award. He
retired from meteorology in 1980.
In August of 1978, Lewis and Estella purchased an
orthopedic boot and shoe shop on Van Buren St,
and as a play on words due to the birth of their
first grandchild the year before, they changed
it's name to The Little Old Shoemaker. Together
they enjoyed the experiences of a successful small
business until its closing in 2000.
Upon moving to Wichita Falls, his family joined
Floral Heights United Methodist Church where he
served in multiple leadership roles over the years.
He was a past member of the Elks Lodge. Lewis was
a Disabled Veteran and a lifelong member of the
Disabled American Veterans Chapter #41. He was
a Master Mason raised in Fort Worth, a Charter
Member of the Fort Worth Scottish Rite, a 60 year
Mason and a member of the Faith Masonic Lodge
#1158. Mr. Croom was also very active in the
Maskat Shrine where he served as Captain of the
Guard, President of the Temple Guard Unit and
Treasurer of the Unit. Lewis' grandfather, John
Wesley Croom, was a veteran of the Civil War,
and to honor that service, he was an active
member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans,
Camp 606, in Wichita Falls.
Lewis Croom was an unashamed Christian, a mentor
worthy of praise and a humble servant of his
community. His greatest joys came from time
spent with his wife, family and numerous friends.
Whether it be watching his Texas Rangers baseball,
on the golf course or at the lake house he provided
for all to enjoy. His loss will be felt by any
who knew him over the years. Especially the family
he leaves behind who will never forget the amazing
man that he was.
Lewis is survived by his wife, Jessie "Estella"
Johnson Croom; one sister, Mary Croom Yeager (RHS-
1940) of Fort Worth; his son, Lewis Wayne Croom
of Wichita Falls; and his daughter, Donna Marie
Croom Roland of Arlington. He is also survived
by three grandsons: Roy Zackry Roland (Carrie)
of Corinth; Whitney Ryan Roland (Regina) of
Arlington; Chance Allen Roland (Holli) of Mountlake
Terrace, WA. He also enjoyed the love of his many
great-grandchildren: Alex, Levi, Paxton, Brady,
Faith, Trisha and Hailee. James Croom (RHS-1944)
was his brother.