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1941 Joy 2022

Joy Anne Crocker

February 16, 1941 — April 30, 2022

Joy Anne Nicholson Crocker (“Anne”) of Concord, North Carolina died of complications from
glioblastoma at age 81 in Kannapolis, NC on Saturday, April 30, 2022.


Anne was born to Lester and Ruth Nicholson near Shreveport, LA on February 16, 1941. The
daughter of an Air Force chaplain, Anne moved frequently throughout her childhood, spending
time on Air Force bases in Texas, New Mexico, Idaho, Mississippi, Washington, DC, and, most
memorably, Germany and Newfoundland. She attended Texas Woman's University and
graduated from Mississippi College with a BA in German (minoring in English and Spanish).
She then attended the University of Mainz on an exchange program through Middlebury
College, earning a Master’s degree in German literature in 1963.

For most of her career, Anne taught high school German and English in the Durham Public
Schools. Frau Crocker, as her German students called her, was old-school–she gave copious
assignments and graded them discerningly, spending her weekend and evening hours with a
red pen in hand. (Sometimes her daughters were recruited to help.) But she also did her best to
make learning memorable and fun. German students baked strudel and recited poems for
Nikolaus; English students performed dramatic scenes from Shakespeare. She organized
student trips to Germany and coached the Jordan High School debate team to a state
championship.

Raising four children and teaching in such a committed fashion left little time for hobbies, but
Anne made up for this upon her retirement in 2001. After moving to Concord, NC, she
enthusiastically participated in a book club, a garden club, the local library board, and various
ministries within the First Presbyterian Church of Concord.

Her most enduring passion during the last two decades of her life was genealogical research.
She ran DNA studies for two different branches of her family, traveled to Germany and Scotland
to track down ancestors, and filled the walls of her house (and her family’s email inboxes) with
family trees, photos, and interesting stories of generations gone by.

Anne was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer in 2015 and bravely dove into her treatment,
living many years beyond her initial prognosis. She was preceded in death by her father, Lester
Emmitt Nicholson; her mother, Frances Ruth Dodd Nicholson; her sister, Frances Gaye Street;
and her husband, John Gilbert Crocker. She is survived by her children Rebecca Delaney
(Paul), Daniel Crocker (Kimberly), Catherine Behroozi (Cyrus), and Margaret Crocker;
grandchildren Alexander Crocker, Catherine Crocker, Henry Behroozi, and Matthew Delaney;
brother Lester Emmitt Nicholson, Jr. (Maryann); nephews Tad (Christin) and Nick Street; and
numerous beloved cousins from the Dodd and Nicholson branches of the family.

Anne’s friends and family will remember her adventurous spirit, her merry laugh; her unusual
and delicious baked goods; her fondness for fresh seafood, peach ice cream, and a glass of
zinfandel; her love of sunsets at Holden Beach and long, aimless drives through the
countryside; her confidence in the soothing powers of classical music; her many maxims for
living (“Clean as you go! Start with the floor! There’s no such thing as perfect!”); and her
commitment to charity in all its forms.

A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Anne Crocker, please visit our flower store.

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