Benjamin Crockett

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Daily Press
January 4, 1942

Aged Couple Accidentally Asphyxiated

An aged couple, Capt. Bejamin F. Crockett, 74, and his wife, Mrs. India Topping Crockett, 75, were found dead in their beds at their residence, 29 Bayley Street, shortly before noon yesterday.

A verdict of “accidental death by asphyxiation” was given by Dr. Paul J. Parker.

A partially opened gas jet from the oven of the cooking stove in the room where the two bodies were found was blamed for the death by Dr. Parker.

It was thought that the oven gas jet was accidently turned on when someone brushed against the jet lever and moved it slightly.

Dr. Parker said that the couple had been dead “eight or nine hours” when the bodies were found by a negro woman who went to the house for laundry.

Captain Crockett was a native of York county and Mrs. Crockett was a native of Fort Monroe. Both had made their home in Hampton a number of years and were widely known in this section.

Mrs. Crockett’s survivors include three brothers, Baron Topping of the Kecoughtan Veterans Administration facility; Capt. Arthur Topping of Norfolk, and Joseph Topping of Newport News; one sister, Mrs. Laura Trailkill, Norfolk, and several neices and nephews. She was a member of the Hampton Baptist Church.

Surviving Captain Crockett are several nieces and nephews, including Mrs. Maurice Soloman of Buckroe Beach, Mrs. Roland Nugent of Hampton, and Stafford Cook and Walter Cook of Yorktown.

Captain Crockett retired a number of years ago, and formerly was captain on oyster boats which operated in the York river and Chesapeake bay. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American war.

A double funeral service will be held at 2 this afternoon at the Hampton Baptist Church. In charge will be the Reverend John H. Garber, pastor, assisted by the Reverend Paul K. Buckles, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Newport News. Burial will be in St. John’s cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be: H. B. Humphries, B. T. Tillery, George W. Askew, S. J. Wornom, and J. H. Hogge. Other friends of the deceased will serve as honorary pallbearers.