ANCHORAGE - Hundreds of people attended a memorial Tuesday for Anchorage philanthropist Jim Crockett. Crockett was the Executive Director at Bean's Cafe for over a decade, but his compassion was evident to everyone who knew him.
Crockett died at age 63 after a brief struggle with pneumonia. Up to that point, he'd been working full time at Bean's.
His friend Bernie Washington gave the eulogy. Washington called Crockett "the wealthiest individual" he knew. Crockett was known for his kindness toward everyone, rich or poor. Washington said, "He built friendships across the social spectrum." Crockett certainly had a lot of friends. The memorial packed Anchorage City Church with friends and relatives.
Washington said that's because "he always put others first."
When Leslie Ellis, a fellow board member of Bean's Cafe, spoke, she said Crockett would be thinking about Bean's if he was at his own service -- "Saying, 'what's going on at the café while you're here at lunchtime?!' He would actually be real concerned about that," she said.
He recruited friends to join him and take on their own charitable projects. He told Washington, "You need to give back to your community."
Crockett was also a loving father and grandfather. His daughter, Jaime Blikre, spoke. She said she'll miss their daily talks. "I'm blessed and thankful I was chosen as your daughter," she said, "I marveled a the way you could use your own two hands to change a community."
His son, Justin Crockett, read Jim's obituary and it talked about Crockett's zest for living even outside of work.
Blikre gave one final farewell to her dad during her speech: "May your naps be long and peaceful, may the fish be big and your beer be cold in heaven. I love you, dad".