In Memoriam: Distinguished Alumnus Marcus Bowman Crotts
MechSE alumnus Marcus Bowman Crotts (MSME ’56), age 87, of Winston-Salem, NC, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2019 after battling cancer. He was born in Winston-Salem, NC on August 6, 1931 to Daphne Bowman and Marcus James Crotts.
Mark received his bachelor's degree from NC State University in 1953 and his master's degree from the University of Illinois in 1956, both in mechanical engineering. During his graduate studies, he met his wife of 62 years, Margo, and was a first lieutenant in the United States Air Force at Chanute Air Force Base.
Mark distinguished himself as an outstanding innovator, leader, and advocate for the machine tool and domestic manufacturing industries, and was internationally recognized for his service and contributions to engineering and civic affairs while maintaining high moral values. At the age of 24, he and Charlie Saunders co-founded Crotts & Saunders Engineering, a machine tool distributor. Crotts & Saunders Engineering has since been recognized as one of the most outstanding distributorships in the United States. He retired from Crotts & Saunders Engineering in 2014.
His involvement in numerous organizations and institutions was remarkable, including Rotary, SME, AMTDA, NCSE, PENC, NSPE, and many others. His dedicated membership in Rotary led him to serve as president of the Stratford Rotary Club, chairman of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians, and District Governor. Mark and Margo attended 35 Rotary International Conventions and were inducted into the Arch Klumph Society. He received the Service Above Self and Rotarian of the Year awards, among others.
Mark served as International Director of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and received the SME Joseph A. Siegel Award. He was an appointed member of the United States Metric Board for six years by former President Jimmy Carter and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He served as president for the American Machine Tool Distributors Association and was awarded the 2016 Albert W. Moore Leadership Award.
He received Distinguished Engineering Alumni awards from both the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at Illinois (1980) and NC State.
He served eight years on the NCSU Board of Trustees and was president of the NC State Alumni Association. He received the Watauga Medal, which recognized his significant service to the university.
In addition to his professional and club involvement, Mark was passionate about flying, license plate collecting, and jogging. He was a lifelong member of the First United Church of Christ, where he served in many roles. He was friendly to everyone, beginning with "Where are you from?" which would often spark a wonderful conversation. During his world travels, he would frequently recognize an old friend and warmly greet them with a handshake.
His signature look always included a bowtie, and he was known for regularly sending personal notes and articles to family, friends, and associates. He was a man of the highest character, who was truly interesting and interested in everybody. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister Nancy Crotts Withers, his son Van Jackson Crotts, and infant granddaughter Elizabeth Palmer Crotts. He is survived by his wife Margo Jackson Crotts, his daughter Laura Crotts Paschall and her husband Jay of Hickory, NC, daughter-in-law Sally Rogers Crotts of Winston-Salem, NC, cherished grandchildren Marcus Rogers Crotts, Jesse Marvin Paschall IV, and Olivia Catherine Paschall, and special nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Rotary Foundation, One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois, 60201-3698, or Trellis Supportive Care, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC, 27103. A celebration of life service was held at Salem Funeral Home on Main Street in Winston-Salem on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm. Condolences may be made online at www.salemfh.com. Salem Funeral & Cremation Service 120 S. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101.