STORM LAKE, Iowa | Brent Croker, 50, of Storm Lake died June 20, 2012, in Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minn.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Storm Lake United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Storm Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be 1 to 6 p.m. today, with the family present 3 to 6 p.m., at Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake.
He was born to Donald and Cloda (Holmes) Croker in Onawa, Iowa, on Oct. 14, 1961. Brent graduated from Whiting High School in 1980 and Buena Vista University (BVU) in 1984. While a student at BVU in Storm Lake, he met the love of his life, Kathryn Appleseth. They were married July 21, 1984, at Grace Lutheran Church in Storm Lake.
Brent started his educational career as a teacher and coach at St. Mary’s High School, Storm Lake, in the fall of 1984. After three years there, he worked as an admissions counselor at BVU and for New York Life Insurance as a salesperson, before returning to his passion of education in the fall of 1989 at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn. He remained at MMC until 2003 when Storm Lake Middle School hired Brent as the eighth-grade social studies teacher and he remained there until his untimely death.
During their almost 28-year marriage, Brent and Kathy welcomed three children, Katelyn Marie, Aaron Jordan (AJ) and Kallie Kathryn. While Brent enjoyed his role teaching others, nothing made him happier or his trademark smile wider than spending time with his family.
In addition to his love of family, Brent was a devoted Nebraska Huskers football fan and a self-proclaimed Iowa Hawkeye fan. He was routinely published in the opinion section of the Omaha World Herald with his commentary on the Huskers’ performance. However, he may have missed his calling as a meteorologist, as it’s possible he watched more of the Weather Channel than he did college football. Brent took great pride in his lawn and his garden, fighting off pests and weeds while cultivating his crops. He was typically the family cook and definitely the person you wanted on your team for trivia games with his deep knowledge of American History, particularly the Civil War and World War II.
Brent Croker’s life story is one of continuous growth and new challenges. Whether it was the love he had for his cherished family, his sometimes challenging lawn and garden, his annual Boundary Waters trip or expanding the minds of his students to learn the history and social systems of America, Brent was passionate about ensuring the growth, happiness and well being of everyone around him.
Brent is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy, of Storm Lake; his children, Katelyn (Matt) Adams of Storm Lake, Aaron Croker of Ames, Iowa, and Kallie Croker of Storm Lake; his brother, Brian (Brenda) Croker of Whiting, Iowa; and his sister, Kimberly (Clarence) Tompkins of Whiting. Other survivors include his mother-in-law, Adeline Appleseth of Storm Lake; his sisters- and brothers-in-law including Cindy Appleseth of Stillwater, Minn., Diane (Gregg) Menning of Northfield, Minn., Kaye (Daryl) Wikstrom of Chaska, Minn., and Mike (Ann) Appleseth of Panora, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
His father and mother, Donald and Cloda Croker, and his father-in-law, George Appleseth, preceded him in death.