After a long and courageous battle against old age, Helen (Jinx) Crouch finally succumbed on Feb. 28, 2019, at the age of 90. Beloved mother and mother-in-law of Jean Crouch Ricci and her husband, Robert; Thomas Crouch and his wife, Pamla; Becky Crouch Barrentine and her husband, Curt; and Brad Miller, she was predeceased by daughters Nancy Crouch Clark and Amy Crouch Miller. Jinx also leaves 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Born in Chicago, Jinx moved to Rochester, graduated from the University of Rochester (UR), and settled there. She later moved to Cazenovia with her family, where she lived for close to 40 years. Divorced, she raised five children on her own. Starting in Rochester and throughout her years in Cazenovia, she devoted herself to improving and furthering mental health care, women’s reproductive rights and adult literacy, among other causes.
She was an active volunteer in and leader of many non-profit organizations, including the Health Association of Rochester and Monroe County (New York), the National Council of Alcoholism, the Monroe County Mental Health Association, the Volunteer Bureau of the Rochester Council, the Junior League of Rochester, Planned Parenthood, UR Alumnae Association, the League of Women Voters, the National Coalition for Literacy, English at Large and Literacy Volunteers of America, where she held positions of volunteer through executive director over the course of nearly 30 years.
Jinx was the recipient of numerous awards and appointments based on her dedication to these causes. Among those are the UR’s Fannie Bigelow Alumnae Award (1971) for demonstrating a deep sense of civic responsibility. She was a founding member of the American Bar Association Task Force (1986) on Literacy which developed literacy outreach programs for prison populations. She was the winner of the first annual Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education (1988) given to honor those with a lifelong commitment to education and finding innovative ways to further its delivery along with the Former US Secretary of Education Terrel Bell and Senator Claiborne Pell of RI. She received UR’s Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal (1989), the university’s highest honor given for outstanding achievements and notable service to community, state, or nation. Jinx was also appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the first National Institute Board for the National Institute for Literacy (1992) and was also a charter member and past Chairman of the National Coalition of Literacy.
Jinx moved to Lexington, MA, in 2006, where she has been supported by family, caring doctors, friends old and new and by a neighborhood of open arms, homes and hearts. She was an extraordinary woman and will be missed.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at The Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam St., Lexington MA, reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, share some one-on-one time with an elder or make a donation in Jinx’s memory to Planned Parenthood Federation, The Children’s Room of Arlington, MA, or a charity of your choice.