Robert C. “Bob” Crouse, 94, left the earth from Tiffany Heights Care Center in Mound City, Missouri, on October 18, 2019, to join his lifelong love Jeane. Bob will be remembered as devoted to his wife, his family, his church, his community, and his country.
He worked 58 years in the business he loved where he made lifelong friendships with customers and colleagues from across the state.
Born November 10, 1924, into the automobile family of Harry and Rosa Crouse of Oregon, Missouri, as his wife Jeane often said, “He grew up in a garage.” At the age of nine, Bob pumped gas and did odd jobs after school and on weekends for his father at Harry Crouse Motor Company. When his father was gone, he would leave Bob in charge of the garage, and once when his father and brother Paul were out of town for a Cardinals ballgame, 11-year-old Bob sold his first car and was written up nationally as the youngest known Pontiac car salesman. Bob sold two new cars and one used car by the end of the month.
Immediately after graduating from Oregon High School, Bob married Jeane Iliene Foster of Forest City, Missouri, on May 11, 1942, a long 75-year union which lasted until Jeane’s death in 2017. For the last six years of Jeane’s life in Tiffany Heights Care Center, Bob stayed with her all day, every day, helping with her care and needs.
The newly married couple moved to St. Joseph where Bob worked for his father buying and selling cars. Three times he tried to enlist for the war effort but was turned down for a hearing problem. Finally, the armed services came calling in 1945 just as he and his brother Paul were poised to open an automobile business in Mound City and were in the process of building a new building. During Bob’s service in Arkansas and Oklahoma, an explosion punctured both his ear drums, and he was sent to lip-reading school, fitted for hearing aids, and received a medical discharge in 1946.
The Crouse brothers and wives, Jeane and Ruth, opened Crouse Brothers Motors on May 11, 1946, as an Oldsmobile franchise. In the summer of 1956, they took over the Chevrolet franchise from Nelson Vogel and then in 1961 added the Pontiac franchise. In 1973, Bob bought brother Paul’s interest in the business and the name was changed to Crouse Motors. In 1988, Bob and Jeane took over the Ford-Mercury franchise in Mound City and opened the R & J Ford Mercury Dealership, which was in operation for 17 years.
Following a stroke in 2004, Bob closed both dealerships and enjoyed his retirement with his family and community service work. Bob dearly loved Mound City, and during his lifetime was instrumental in building the Mound City Municipal Swimming Pool and bringing the McDonald’s restaurant and Dollar General store to the community.
A veteran of World War II, Bob was a lifetime member of the American Legion Paul P. Shutts Post #121. He was a lifetime member of Oregon Lodge #139 AF & AM, the Scottish Rite, Moila, and Legion of Honor in St. Joseph; and the IOOF Lodge and Elks Lodge.
Bob served as president of Gold Medal Chevrolet Dealers, director and board member of the Missouri Automobile Dealers’ Association, president and member of the Holt County R-2 School Board; president and board member of the Mound City Pool Board; president of the Mount Hope Cemetery Board, member of the Mound City Development Corporation, chairman of the Mound City Rodeo, and elder emeritus, trustee, chairman of the board, and member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Bob is preceded in death by his wife Jeane; parents Harry and Rosa; stepmother Juanita; brothers Paul and Howard; and daughter-in-law Christina. Survivors include two children, Deborah Jean Loucks and her husband Steve of Mound City, and Robert Lynn Crouse of Jefferson City, Missouri.
Bob was also blessed with three grandchildren: Lauren Elizabeth Loucks (Amy) of Edmond, Oklahoma; Carly Jane Edwards (Steven) of Mound City; and Courtney Ryan Crouse of Chicago, Illinois; as well as two great-grandchildren, Jaxon Lee and Ryan Charles Edwards of Mound City.
Family visitation and receiving hours will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at Chamberlain Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the First Christian Church of Mound City. Interment will follow with full military honors at Mount Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be given to the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mound City, Mount Hope Cemetery, or the Mound City Municipal Pool.