Raymond Crockett

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Daily Press
March 13, 2006


Our community and the world lost a very special man on Friday, March 10, 2006.

Raymond Nelsen Crockett, born June 13, 1941, in Yorktown, Va., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his beloved family.

Nelsen finished high school at Christ Church in Urbanna, Va., in 1959. Many of his fondest memories were created there and he maintained lifetime friendships with some of his classmates.

He graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in history and was accepted into their law program with a one-year deferment. During that year he worked for Phillip Morris in Richmond and so began his career as a businessman rather than a lawyer like his father. He was a well-respected employee of Phillip Morris and became the youngest man in its history to be promoted to plant manager. Nelsen was well liked by his many employees for whom he provided considerable support and leadership.

His enduring love of the Chesapeake Bay and the family hotel business eventually drew him back to his birthplace. For 20 years he and his brother operated the Duke of York Hotel in historic Yorktown, a position he carried out fully until his diagnosis with cancer.

Nelsen loved to spend his free time on his boats and he always welcomed friends to join him. His “Big Boat” was often filled with family, friends, good food, cans of Milwaukee’s Best, great stories and laughter. His wife Karin and he would spend hours exploring the coves and small creeks of the York River and Mobjack Bay on their jet ski. And if he just had a need for the feel of wind blowing against him and water rushing beneath him, he would take out his Fountain powerboat. He loved to hear those engines rumble just before Karin fussed at him to switch on the silent choice muffler system.

His kindness, humor, intelligence, generosity and great humanity will be sorely missed by the many people whose lives were touched and enriched through their friendship with Nelsen. For all of us who were privileged to know him, a great light has gone out of our lives and we can only rekindle it through our ongoing memories of him and by emulating his wonderful ways.

Nelsen is survived by his loving wife, Karin Crockett, and daughters and sons-in-law, Ariane Glagola and Peter Glagola of Yorktown and Tanja Crockett and Jimmy Chan of San Diego, Calif.; his four grandchildren, Alexandra, Adam, Clara and Audrey; and brother, Paul Crockett Jr.

Nelsen was preceded in death by his mother and father, Camilla Crockett and Paul Crockett.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Grace Episcopal Church, 111 Church St., Yorktown. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at Grace Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Nature Conservancy 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, or Grace Church in Yorktown.

Arrangements are with Nelsen Funeral Home. Condolences may be registered at http://www.nelsenfh.com.

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