Fallen Hero SPC Matthew R. Crooks, US Army” title=

SPC Matthew R. Crooks

August 11, 1984 - December 6, 2012
U.S. Army

Matthew Crooks was born in Phoenix, Arizona on August 11, 1984 to Charles Crooks Sr. and Jackie (Harker) Handlon. He died suddenly at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on December 6, 2012.

Some months ago I was contacted by Matthew’s step mother, Teresa Crooks of Owatonna, MN where she and Matthew’s father now live. She wondered if I would paint this portrait of Matthew, and she wanted it to be a surprise gift to her husband. I agreed, and when they came to pick up the painting Charles had no idea why they were here. The painting was unveiled and he loved it. It’s very hard to lose a son, and hopefully this gift will help to ease the pain. It’s just comforting to know that Matthew will never be forgotten, and that people are grateful for his service.

Matthew Crooks graduated from Brownsburg (IN) High School in 2007, where he was a standout diver for their high school swim team. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2008. His military occupational specialty was builder of the Patriot Missile. He received high honors from all of his superiors.

Matthew received full military burial rites and was laid to rest in the Heroes of Honor and Glory Veterans Gardens at Whispering Hope memorial Gardens in Shelbyville, Indiana. Survivors include his father and stepmother; mother; daughter, Mackenzie Youst; brothers, Dwayne and Tech. Sgt. Charles Crooks Jr.; and sister, Jena White. Our hearts go out to all of Matthew’s family and friends. We thank him for his service. Teresa shared with me that Matthew always arrived with a smile on his face, and was loved by anyone who met him.

Portrait sponsored by:
The Cpl. Curtis M. Swenson Memorial Fund, Rochester, Minnesota