Donna Mae Crook

Date of Birth

Dec 15,1933

Date of Death

Jul 20,2010

DONNA MAE CROOK, age 76, of Elburn, formerly of Lily Lake, passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of her family, Tuesday, July 20, 2010. BORN: She was born December 15, 1933, in Elmhurst, the daughter of Donald and Mable (Anderson) Talty. EARLY YEARS:Before she was one, her father took a different path. Mable then married Edward Reinink Jr. who became the man she always saw as her father. EDUCATION: Donna jumped on a train each day to attend Wheaton High. Her younger years were filled with happy memories and times spent in the family owned a local meat market and general store, Andersons, in Elmhurst. MARRIAGE: She found love very early in life and caught the eye and the heart of William Crook. They were united in marriage on October 21, 1950 in Warrenville, IL. Donna and Bill spent many years raising a family and making their house a home. When Bill became afflicted with MS, Donna became his caretaker for over twenty years. Their love increased with every day, their bond becoming unbreakable until his passing in 1993.RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: They began their new life together on the family farm for a time until 1953 when moved to Lily Lake. They built a new home two years later. After Bill’s passing in 1993, Donna moved to live with her son Tom and his family for the next thirteen years. LIFE NOTES: Donna’s heart was big enough to care for the world and everyone in it. For most of her years she was affectionately known by all as "Grandma". She never met a stranger and very few ever left without having their lives changed for the better. Never one to brag about herself, Grandma could do anything. She worked on the farm, at a pickle company for a time, worked as a welder, and later worked many years in the restaurant industry. Grandma worked at The Farm Inn in Wasco, the family restaurant, Campton Inn, in Lily Lake and later at the Kountry Kettle in Elburn. Family was most important in her life so for the next many years she helped take care of her grandchildren spoiling them rotten and loving every moment. Grandma was a fixture in their lives, present for every step and every accomplishment. She went back to work after the grandkids were grown at her best friend and daughter Linda’s restaurant, Gert’s Place in Batavia before dedicating her energy and care for the next many years at the Valley Sheltered Workshop until December of 2009. It was the perfect place for a woman with an unlimited amount of love to give and it didn’t take long for her to adopt "her kids" as her own. They adopted her as well and the legend of Grandma grew exponentially. Later she was featured in several newspaper articles lauding her hard work, determination and deemed her the reason for the continued success of the shelter. After meeting Grandma, no one was ever the same and the mark she left on the hearts and minds of all she knew will last for generations and beyond. SURVIVORS: She is survived by her son, Tom (Deborah Lee) Crook of Elburn, Seven grandchildren:Ted Crook, Jenny (Jason) Peak, Billy Norton,Eleni (Mark) Zelazoski, Cynthia Higgins,Kit Crook and Cody Crook;Seven great-grandchildren:Emma Peak, Danielle Norton and her daughter Lilly AnnWilliam Norton Jr., Brandy Norton, Joey Melby, Ashley Zelazoski and Derek Zelazoski;One sister, Charlene Terlecki;Many nieces, nephews and a countryside of "family" that will never forget her. PRECEDED:She is preceded in death by her parents, husband William, daughter Linda Runge, her son Willy (Doreen) Crook, her sister Kaye Brogie and one brother Ed Reinink. VISITATION / FUNERAL A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life on Saturday, July 31, 2010, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Lily Lake Cemetery. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in hers name to benefit Valley Sheltered Workshop and other favorite charities. Checks may be made to the "Donna Crook Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life on Saturday, July 31, 2010, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, at 10 a.m.

Interment will follow at Lily Lake Cemetery.

Leave Condolences or Memories