Obituary of Dr. William Michael McCrocklin
William Michael McCrocklin, age 80, of Peyton, Colorado, passed away on Monday, May 22nd, 2023, due to natural causes. His family was honored and blessed to accompany him during his passing at home.
William, most notably known as Pastor Mike, was born on Thursday, November 19th, 1942, to Claude Thompson McCrocklin and Marjorie Belle Peyton McCrocklin in Vincennes, Indiana. After Mike graduated from Lamarque High School in 1962, he attended Baylor University in Texas, graduating in 1967. He later obtained his Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973. He obtained his Doctorate of Ministry from New Geneva Seminary (previously Knox Theological Seminary) in 1998. He also obtained several certifications from Notre Dame University.
Mike met his wife of fifty-seven years, Jeannie, at a pep rally at Baylor University in 1964. He assisted Jeannie to her feet after she tripped, where he quickly charmed her during their six-block, late-night walk to her dormitory. They married on August 28th, 1965, in Dallas, Texas. Mike and Jeannie raised three children, Elizabeth McCrocklin Thomas, JD, Michelle McCrocklin Mulder, MD, and Melissa Roberts, RN.
His family is celebrating the arrival of Pastor Mike in heaven as we grieve the loss of his earthly presence. Mike’s health was a lifelong concern and cause of great pain and suffering; however, his faith in God committed his life’s work to preaching the Word and understanding that great peace awaited him in heaven.
Mike was a loyal and faithful husband to his wife, Jeannie, and a constant presence of strength and love to their daughters as well as his extended family. He was a thoughtful and compassionate friend, counselor, and teacher to many through his work as a pastor of fifty-seven years. He served as a Director for Baptist Student Union at both Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas (previously Henderson County College) and Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He served on the state staff for Northern Plains Convention in Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakota. He “wore many hats” at the Iowa Southern Baptist Fellowship in Des Moines, Iowa, leaving to pastor in Sterling/Rock Falls and then in Rockford, Illinois. His final role as a pastor was that of a Church Planter for the Presbyterian Church of America in Northwest Houston prior to retiring in 2004. He came out of retirement to pastor at Lindale Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas for three years.
Many of us came to know Pastor Mike through his dedication to Christ – his servant’s heart brought him to countless homes, hospitals, bedsides, churches, and international communities. He found great satisfaction in connecting Christ’s followers with The Word through preaching and teaching. His surviving family recalls with great joy his booming voice singing hymns over the collective voices of congregations. They acknowledge that heaven’s choir has gained an incredibly powerful baritone – his presence earned him the beloved family nickname “foghorn” – his voice notoriously disabled his mic mid-song, though thankfully it wasn’t needed to deliver his sermon.
In addition to being a pastor, Mike was a notorious orator and an endless source of knowledge. He was devoted to sharing Texas history, his childhood memories, and bits of knowledge that only he would seemingly know. He was a prolific author of Biblical studies, historical fiction, and memoirs, allowing us to revisit his words when we need to feel closer to Christ’s teachings or relish in the sepia-toned memories of his Texas coastal childhood.
Some of his family’s favorite phrases and memories of Mike include the following:
When leading the congregation to sing after closing his sermon, he would sometimes jokingly say “We’re going to sing this Acapulco.”
At the age of eleven, he pre-signed all of his wallet-sized school pictures with a variety of phrases: “Love Mike” – “Forever, Mike” – “Forever, Yours” (Always the lover!)
He safely escorted all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren across parking lots by leaning over and challenging them to “Squeeze my pinky as hard as you can” without ever once having to say, “Hold my hand while we cross the street”.
Every member of his family knew they were cherished – he notoriously would say “Of all my [insert relation] named [name] – you are my favorite.”
Mike was consistently warm, welcoming, and fiercely brilliant. His memory never failed and we will all dearly miss his ability to answer our questions about anything under the sun, spanning beyond this world and deep into the realm of God’s eternal kingdom. Anyone who tried to work a crossword or watch a game of Wheel of Fortune with him would be hard-pressed to solve it before him (Good luck!) He was also an avid Baylor Bears fan (Sic ‘Em, Bears!) and his family has many beloved memories of him playing Spades and Hearts around their kitchen table. We will forever cherish the memory of him bellowing during a particularly high-stakes game, “I made my bid!!”
Editor’s Note: While writing this obituary, a neighbor of his who was previously unaware of his passing rang the doorbell and asked if he was available to sit on the porch and talk politics – we had no idea they had this special friendship, but it surprised none of us.
His family would like to share some of the benedictions he used and their inspired verses — many of which were taken directly from his neat cursive in the back of his heavily-used Bibles:
“May the grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” — Hebrews 13: 20 - 21
“The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” — 2 Corinthians 13: 14
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 28
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17
Mike was predeceased by his father, Claude Thompson “CT” McCrocklin; his mother, Marjorie Peyton McCrocklin; his brothers, Walter “Wally” Peyton, Mark (his stillborn twin), and Claude “Nick” Nicholas; his sister, Martha Sue McCrocklin; and son-in-law SSG David L. Thomas.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannie; and their daughters, Elizabeth Thomas, Michelle and husband Timothy Mulder, and Melissa and husband Matthew Roberts. He is also survived by grandchildren, Tiffany Dansby and husband Mac Dansby, Ryan Thomas, Mackenzie Hayes, Nicole Shannon and husband Ron Shannon, Peyton Mulder and wife Haley Mulder, Mitchell Roberts, Keegan Shy, Phillip Roberts, Hunter Mulder, Kavan Thomas and wife Andrea Thomas, William “Calvin” Mulder, and Madeline Mulder; and great-grandchildren, Caelyn Dansby, Evie Dansby, Alyssa Roberts, Austin Dansby, Daniel Shannon, Constance “Cass” Shannon, Savannah Mulder, Mika Thomas, and Isaac Mulder.
Graveside service, 11:00AM, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery where his ashes will be interred to rest with his parents and siblings.
Celebration of Life, 4:00PM, Saturday, June 10, 2023, Southside Community Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Reception to follow.
For details pertaining to these services, please contact Jeannie McCrocklin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the New Geneva Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs, Colorado, https://www.newgeneva.org/Home/DonateTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. William McCrocklin, please visit Tribute Store
Celebration of Life