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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — LTC Jeffrey Crouch, 52, died June 21, 2014, from esophageal cancer, at home with his family by his side. Jeff served his country for 34 years and served the community of Idaho Falls for 24 years. He impacted many lives in the Army, the schools and the community.

Jeff was born June 5, 1962, in Rochelle, Ill., to Ellman and Emma Crouch. He moved to Great Falls in 1976, with his dad and brother Brian, where he graduated from CMR in 1980.

Jeff joined the Army on Feb. 14, 1980, at the age of 17. He was stationed at Fort Bragg in the 82nd Airborne for four years, then moved back to Montana to attend college and entered the ROTC program at Montana State University, completing his degree at Eastern Montana College. Jeff spent 26 years in the Montana Army National Guard and four years in the Army Reserves. He was attached to the Wounded Warrior Unit at Ft. Carson, Colo., when he died. Jeff was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, most recently returning from Kuwait in March 2014.

Jeff met his wife, Heidi May, at Montana State University. They married in 1988 in Billings and have two wonderful children, a son Beau and a daughter Emma.

Jeff and Heidi moved to Idaho Falls in 1991, where Jeff began his 23-year teaching career as a Health and PE teacher at Taylorview Middle School, Gale Junior High and Eagle Rock Junior High. Jeff also coached basketball, track and field and football throughout School District 91.

Jeff loved to visit with his friends and family, as well as anyone walking down the street. He loved to talk about Harleys, riding, and made people laugh along the way. Jeff was a true friend to many. He will be missed by all, but we know he will be watching down on us, smiling and waiting for us to join him.

Jeff is preceded in death by his parents, Ellman and Emma Crouch; his brother Randy; and his stepmother, Betty Parsons-Crouch. He is survived by his wife, Heidi; son Beau and daughter Emma; his brother Brian (Madalyn) Crouch; nephew Taylor (Courtney) Crouch; great-nephew and niece Beckett and Delaney; nephew Aaron Crouch and niece Nicole Crouch; and niece Emily Matthews. Other surviving relatives include his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Edwina and Len Wilkins; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Paul and Patricia May; and niece Lindsie May.

Memorials may be made in Jeff's name to www.ourmilitarykids.org or mail donations to Our Military Kids, 6861 Elm St., Suite 2A, McLean, VA 22101. Please put “In Memory of Jeffrey Crouch” on checks. Or donate to a charity of your choice.

Viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Wood Funeral Home, 963 S. Ammon Road. Military Honor funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 27, with luncheon to follow at Wood Funeral Home. Burial will be at Lawnridge Cemetery, Rochelle, Ill.

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