Frederick R. Crockett, Jr.
Frederick R. Crockett, Jr., 66, of Indialantic, died on May 8, 2021 after a long battle with cancer.
Rick was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on April 12, 1955, but grew up in Middletown, Rhode Island, where his passion for sailing began. The Newport Yacht Club became Rick’s home away from home during his teens and young adulthood – he was always sailing, teaching sailing, running the launch vessel, tending bar, or hanging out with lifelong friends. One of the highlights of Rick’s sailing career is when he competed in the J24 World Championship in Newport.
After attending college at Hall Institute in Providence, Rhode Island, Rick moved to Florida in 1981 where he began his mechanical designing career. He worked as a senior data analyst at the Naval Training Center for the Trident program until 1983, and then worked as a system support engineer for L3Harris for over 32 years, retiring in 2014.
During his career at Harris, Rick enjoyed great friendships with his coworkers, and especially liked his projects involving aviation and marine systems. His proficiency with CAD and attention to detail was well known among his coworkers, and he was pleased to help when coworkers sought assistance. His projects sometimes required lengthy travel, and his favorite assignment allowed him to spend 3 months in Alaska. Rick took every opportunity he could to explore each location, visiting museums and other cultural centers when he was not at work.
Rick joined the Melbourne Yacht Club in the 1980s, as well as the East Coast Sailing Association. In 1987 he purchased a new Hunter 28.5 sailboat he named Maverick, and was a fixture in the bi-weekly rum races, the bi-annual regattas, and lots of other sailing events sponsored by ECSA and other yacht clubs. He invited new members and anyone interested in sailing to join him on Maverick, and many of them became steady crew members for years at a time.
In 2005, one of those invitees became his wife, Suzanne Crockett. Rick coached Suzanne and her all-female crew in the yacht club’s mermaid regattas and other women’s sailing events. Out of love for Suzanne, Rick exchanged his hank-on racing sails for a roller furling jib, and Maverick became a racer/cruiser. In 2008, Rick and Suzanne took Maverick on a month-long cruise to the Abacos along with 2 other sailboats. Rick always said that a trip like that will either make or break a relationship, and for Rick and Suzanne the trip definitely made their marriage solid and unbreakable. Other trips for Suzanne and Rick included flights to Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua and Scotland, where Rick fulfilled his lifelong wish of playing golf at the Old Course in St. Andrews. Their last trip together was a return to Newport, Rhode Island in April, where Rick was surrounded by the love and support of his lifelong friends and family.
Retirement gave Rick the opportunity to pursue his passions for sailing, surf fishing and golf. He enjoyed the company of his regular foursomes, and often played the courses at Crane Creek Reserve, Mallards Landing, and Manatee Cove. Even as his health declined, Rick simply limited his golfing to chipping and putting. He especially enjoyed golfing with his brother when he visited Rick during the winter months.
Rick’s sailing crew loved him and he loved them. He took his younger crew members under his wing and shared with them the secrets of sailing fast. He was so proud to watch them mature and develop their careers and their families, as well as their sailing prowess.
Rick is survived by his wife, Suzanne Crockett, his brother Robert (Barbara) Crockett, his sister Diane (Timothy) Flaherty, his nephews Jed Flaherty and Rob Crockett, and his niece Lisa Crockett. Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Claire Crockett.
A social hour for friends and family will begin at 2:00 pm, followed by a memorial service at 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at the Melbourne Yacht Club, 1202 East River Drive, Melbourne, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.