Jul 28, 2014
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Bill Crooks, Town Finance 'Professor', Dies Suddenly

Crooks was recently elected chairman of the Board of Finance.

Bill Crooks, Town Finance 'Professor', Dies Suddenly

Bill Crooks, considered an expert on Trumbull's finances, died suddenly about 5:30 p.m., said Board of Finance Vice Chairman Mark Smith.

But the Board of Finance's meeting will still take place Thursday at 7 p.m. in , starting with a public comment period dedicated to remembering Crooks. 

Smith will assume the chairman's seat.

"It's a big hit to the town," he said, adding that Crooks was a Trumbull football fan who loved sports.

"He loved being around people. He was a class act," Smith said.

Crooks, the Board of Education's finance director for 36 years, often went to colleagues' homes to help them with budget matters. And before Crooks' passing, Smith said the chairman called him on the way to the hospital asking that the meeting be held Thursday.

"Here's a guy in distress and he's worried about the Board of Finance," Smith said.

"He was the professor of all the books and records in town," the vice chairman added.

Jack Testani, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said Crooks was a father figure who helped him with politics and helped his boys with football.

"Bill was like a member of my family," he said. "He was my adopted father and I was his adopted son."

"I found a picture of Bill with me [from about 10 years ago]. It was a memory of how long he's been a part of our life," the chairman added.

He was also known for his agility with numbers. "He was so incredibly smart," Testani said.

Crooks was also a democrat for several decades before he became a republican and joined the Board of Finance, but he "transcended political differences," Testani said.

Testani noted that the Lincoln Reagan Dinner planned for Sunday has been cancelled out of respect for Crooks.

"He was there for us whenever we had family issues. He did a lot for my boys. If he liked you and you showed him respect in return, he treated you like family," Testani said.

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