Brown mourns fiance's death

Published 11:40 pm Monday, March 20, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
Atmore resident Nicole Brown will always remember her fianc/, David Crook as a man who loved his family and would do anything for the couple's two daughters.
Now, just a few days following his burial, Brown is working to keep Crook's memory alive for their 9-year-old daughter, Tadadrian Crook and is doing all she can to preserve memories of his life for the couple's 4-month-old daughter, Zacari Crook.
Crook was one of three Bay Minette fishermen who went missing during a fishing trip off the Causeway on Feb. 28.
Crook, 28 was found in the Blakely River north of the causeway in Spanish Fort around 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 12 according to his fianc/. His body was found three miles from his uncle, Hilbert Bradley, 45, whose body surfaced on Wednesday, March 8 in the Blakely River between Interstate 10 and the Causeway.
David Crooks father, James Crook, 51, was found Tuesday, March 7 in front of Mercy Medical on the shore of Mobile Bay in Daphne.
Crook, a former student of Baldwin County High School worked at Midbay Furniture Store in Spanish Fort and enjoyed hunting and fishing in his free time.
Autopsy reports indicate that all three men drowned. Authorities have indicated that the rough condition of the water the day the men disappeared, contributed to an accident in their 12-foot fiberglass boat as they were attempting to return to shore.
Although, Brown and Crook had not set a formal date, the couple was planning on getting married this summer. Brown who is a teller at First National Bank and Trust said that Crook planned to move to Atmore with her once they were married.
Brown knew that her fianc/ was going fishing on Monday of that week, but knew nothing about him going the following day as well.
"We saw each other on Sunday," Brown said. "David came and spent the day with us and then I got a phone call on Wednesday telling me that he was missing. Things have been ongoing ever since that phone call. I just could not believe that he was missing. It just didn't seem real."
Brown's thoughts immediately turned to her girls. The couple's oldest daughter went fishing with her daddy and granddaddy often.
"It was just dreadful," Brown said. "And then I thought about the fact that Tadadrain could have been with them. She loved her daddy and was very close to her granddaddy too and she loved to go fishing with them."
Brown said that her fianc/ and his father fished at least two times a week. Crook loved to be outdoors according to Brown.
"He loved to fish, hunt, ride four-wheelers and take care of livestock," Brown said. "And he loved trucks. I don't care what kind of truck it was, he loved it."
Brown said that he loved his family too and would do anything for them. She said that he never met a stranger and made friends with anybody.
"Everybody wants to point fingers about what happened and speculate," Brown said. "But the Lord and David are the only ones who know what happened. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that some good can and will come from his death."
For now, Brown is focusing on her girls and seeing that they are taken care of.
"Wherever the Lord leads me I'll go," Brown said. "The Lord has been my strength. He has definitely been with me. I am going to continue to take care of my girls and will stay in contact with David's mother. They are still my family."
Brown's daughter is receiving counseling everyday at school and the family is relying on the support of their church, First Pentecostal Holiness Church in Atmore.
Brown's sister is currently complying a scrapbook to chronicle the life of David Crook, filling it with pictures and personal items for the couple's two daughters.
A funeral and memorial service for David's father and himself was held on Monday, March 13 and then David was buried on Wednesday, March 15.

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