Robert Paul Crouch Jr.
March 28, 1948 – September 8, 2021
Robert Paul Crouch, Jr. (Bob) of Mechanicsville, Virginia, died peacefully on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, with his family by his side.
Bob was born on March 28, 1948, at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. The son of an Army medic and World War II veteran, he lived in Florida, California, Washington, Hawaii, France and the Azores Islands all before age 16. When his father retired from the Army, the family landed in Henry County, Virginia, where Bob enrolled at Drewry Mason High School. He quickly put down roots and adopted Virginia as his beloved home state.
Bob was a lifelong learner, attending the University of Georgia, Patrick Henry Community College, George Mason University, the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he earned a master’s in public administration, and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he earned his J.D. He enjoyed teaching as an adjunct at Ferrum College and Virginia Commonwealth University over the years and was gratified to give back to Virginia’s higher education system by serving on the Board of Visitors for George Mason University and the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. He recently spoke of pursuing a Ph.D, inspired by his eldest grandson heading to college. From an early age Bob was an avid believer in the project and promise of democracy, and he spent his life working toward this goal. As with many people of his generation, he was inspired by John and Robert Kennedy and he served as a staffer on Capitol Hill as a college student. His time on Capitol Hill impacted his life greatly. Bob was so very fortunate to have had Senator William B. Spong as an early boss and mentor. And a Senate office building elevator was where he first spotted his beloved wife, Clara (who was working for Tennessee Senator Howard Baker at the time). They married on September 2, 1973. Bob went on to work on state and local political campaigns too numerous to name, creating decades-long friendships with people all over the Commonwealth. Highlights of Bob’s career include being elected as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Henry County, Virginia, from 1976 to 1985 and being appointed by President Clinton as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia from 1993 to 2001. He was honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve Governor Mark Warner as Chief Deputy Secretary of Public Safety from 2002 to 2005 and as Counselor to the Governor from 2005 to 2006 and Governor Tim Kaine as Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness from 2006 to 2010.
Bob gave back in small ways as well, serving on many community boards, panels and committees, donating blood whenever possible, volunteering with the PTA, mentoring young people, writing countless letters of recommendation, serving as a member of an American Red Cross Disaster Team from 2017 to 2019, and serving as a poll observer in the 2020 election.
Bob was passionate about reading, music, art, history, travel, classic cars, motorcycling, college football, Washington Nationals baseball and anything that his grandkids were interested in. He loved drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway with Clara in their 1968 GTO, watching Nationals games with his dog Nattie by his side, visiting Emily’s family in California and sampling the LA restaurants featured in the Harry Bosch series, taking Clara to the beach and the mountains, catching live jazz at the Tin Pan in Richmond, and painting. Retirement provided Bob the opportunity to bring these interests together in an epic cross-country motorcycling trip that followed in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition, highlighted locations visited by Ritchie Valens, and included stops at numerous national parks along the way. Before his recent illness, Bob was busily planning guitar jam sessions with his grandson, Theo, fly-fishing near Colorado State University with his grandson, Henry, and golfing with his granddaughter Ellie and son-in-law Nathan.
Bob was a devoted husband, father, son, brother and granddaddy. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Paul Crouch, Sr. and is survived by his wife of 48 years, Clara Johnson Crouch; a daughter, Emily Crouch Vitan and her husband, Nathan; three beloved grandchildren, Henry, Ellie and Theo; his mother, Rosa Deal Crouch; and one brother, Douglas A. Crouch.
A memorial service is planned at 1pm on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Montfair Resort Farm (2500 Bezaleel Drive; Crozet, VA 22932), with visitation immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bon Secours Community Hospice House (bsvaf.org), which provided comfort and peace to Bob and his family during his final days, or to the American Red Cross (redcross.org).
- Robert Paul Crouch, Sr., Father (deceased)
- Clara Johnson Crouch, Wife of 48 years
- Emily Crouch Vitan (Nathan), Daughter
- Henry, Ellie and Theo, Grandchildren
- Rosa Deal Crouch, Mother
- Douglas A. Crouch, Brother
Montfair Resort Farm
Visitation will follow the Memorial Service
Robert Paul Crouch Jr.
September 21, 2021
During my many years as a state prosecutor, I worked often and closely with Bob when he was Clerk of the Henry County Circuit Court, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, and Counsel to Governor Warner.
Bob always rose to the occasion. He brought energetic and practical competence, effective and compassionate managerial skills and, most important, his indefatigable optimism to every job he undertook.
Bob was a politician in the very best sense of the word. His career was devoted to serving Virginia. Virginia and countless Virginians, including me, are better because of his efforts.
September 20, 2021
Although I never met him in person, I have loved hearing about Bob through his daughter Emily, who clearly shares his intelligence, care and concern for other people, and love of family. I hope his memory is a blessing for all who knew and loved him.
September 19, 2021
When I came to this country in 1966 he and his family accepted me as one of the family. He and Clare always where there when my husband was very irr. His mom was my and my husband favorite ant. We will miss him.
September 15, 2021
Sending heartfelt condolences from a friend and classmate from the class of 1966.
September 15, 2021
I was very saddened to learn of Bob's passing. My heartfelt condolences go out to Clara and the rest of his family.
While U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Bob hired me to work in our Roanoke office. It did not take long for me to realize that Bob was a very special person. His calm, judicious, and reasonable manner in dealing with the many problems and issues he faced while in office were truly inspirational to me.
He always carefully thought through every major decision and ensured that we always did what was best for the office and the district in general. I learned a lot from him.
He was a true professional who always ran the office in a strict non-partisan manner. This was critical in the position he held. The many positive changes he made transformed our district. He cared deeply about every employee. Morale skyrocketed while he was there.
Bob had a fun-loving side too. I am sure everyone present at one of our annual office picnics will never forget Bob's performance as an Elvis impersonater.
He was truly a great man who impacted the lives of many people.
September 14, 2021
I just received this sad news. I am very sorry to hear that Bob has passed on. He was a great boss when we served together in Governor Kaine's administration, and we enjoyed our travels around the Commonwealth . My sincere condolences to the family.
September 14, 2021
Oh my, this news saddens me so very much. I had the privilege of getting to know Bob and Clara when Chuck Robb ran for Lt. Governor. No one was more helpful, fun or hard working. Bob was devoted to public service and to the Commonwealth. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
September 12, 2021
I truly appreciated Bob over the years… when I was young, I always looked up to him in why he accomplished and gave me hope that I can do the same. When I grew older, Bob often called my father when he was dying of cancer and was a great comfort to him. A good man with a good heart is always a huge loss for all of us. My condolences to Clara, Emily and the rest of the family.
September 11, 2021
My friendship with Bob began over 50 years ago when we worked in Congress. We maintained our friendship long after that and concluded our careers in Virginia government at the same time after serving in the administrations of Governors Warner and Kaine. In addition to being a loyal and faithful friend, Bob was the epitome of a selfless public servant. His focus was always exclusively on how to best serve Virginians. I will miss a very dear long-time friend and Virginia will benefit from his wonderful service for countless years to come.