Harvey Phillips Crocker, fondly referred to by his nephews as “the uncle who never grew up,” passed away March 10, 2011 at the age of 58. Complications due to a lengthy illness inevitably ended his life too early but the final moments were peaceful with family and friends by his side at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers.
With the loving care and support of the Gerome family — Jack, Judy, Joe, Donna and Darlene Green — Harvey was able to remain in his own home until the last two days of his life. Their dedication to him is indescribable.
Harvey was born in Boston on June 6, 1952, to the late Kimball and Caroline (Phillips) Crocker and raised in West Peabody with his older siblings, Kimball and Kathie.
Harvey moved to Martha’s Vineyard for a period of time following his graduation from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. While pounding nails for Emmett Carroll Builders, he made many Island friends who remained dear to him. The friendships of David Norton and Tim Stobie stood the test of time.
Harvey moved back off-Island in the mid-1980s and after a few years in the workforce, he opened his own business, Crocker Security and Detective Agency. He managed to make a name for himself in this line of business and was a true professional when serving his clients. Harvey not only provided security to several large estates on the North Shore, but it was his agency that provided the security detail during the making of the movie “The Perfect Storm,” where he met many of the actors, including George Clooney.
Even though his life was well-grounded in West Peabody, the Island called to him each year. Holidays were an excuse to get family together, but he also kept his connection by participating in the Martha’s Vineyard Harley Riders Run to the Rock event. He rode with a dedicated group of friends, including members of the Gerome family. It was not only a weekend for enjoying his shiny, flame-streaked Harley, but it was also a weekend for family. He would always stay with nephew Timothy and host a cookout that all who attended would begin looking forward to as soon as it ended. In addition to his annual Run to the Rock, he looked forward to attending Bike Week in Laconia, N.H.
Harvey was a movie buff with an extensive DVD collection that often kept him glued to the screen until the wee hours of the morning. He was also the one to check in with when it came to current events, as he was an avid reader who was up to date on virtually everything. Don’t forget the dogs. He adored and spoiled his loyal canine companions without question and without hesitation.
Over the years he played the pivotal role of “favorite uncle” to Timothy Carroll, Marshall Carroll and his wife Katie, Christopher Carroll and his wife, Kendra, Carlton Crocker, Thomas Crocker, and James Crocker and his wife, Amy. Harvey was the “greatest uncle” to Bradley and Brooks Carroll, Oona and Emme Carroll, and Joshua and Laura Crocker.
He always knew how to pick just the right gift to send along, even if there wasn’t a special occasion. The uncle that never grew up is fondly remembered for handing over a few dollars for Slurpees at the 7-11, having the best assortment of video games, rides in his Triumph TR6, and simply for being a fun-loving companion ready for any adventure his nephews might request.
In addition to living up to the highest expectations set out in front of him in his role of uncle, he was not only a brother but also a true friend to Kimball and his wife, Janet, and Kathie and her husband, Emmett Carroll. The void that his kind-spirited soul has left in their hearts will be difficult to fill.
Harvey will also be deeply missed by his second family, the Geromes. They enjoyed his company for holidays, hit the open road with him by their side, cared for him when he was ill, and truly proved to the world how strong the bond of friendship could be.
A graveside memorial service will be held in Harvey’s honor at 10 am on Saturday, June 4, at which point his ashes will be laid to rest alongside his parents at the Spring Street Cemetery in Essex. There will be a gathering afterwards of family and friends at Woodman’s of Essex.
Should friends desire, contributions may be made in Harvey’s name to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, One Hospital Way, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, or to The Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923.