James Stratton-Crooke, 90, of Scarsdale, died peacefully at home on May 25. His family said he was a devoted husband, brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. A naval officer, industrial engineer and diplomat, Mr. Stratton-Crooke grew up in New Rochelle and attended Isaac E. Young High School. He was a scholar-athlete and a Boy Scout, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating, he attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Jim served as the Chief Engineering Officer on the USS Great Sitkin, an ammunition supply ship. After leaving the Navy, he earned a master’s degree in management and industrial engineering from Columbia University.
In 1956, Mr. Stratton-Crooke met the love of his life, Nancy Anderson. They married later that year and remained married for 63 years, until his passing. In 1958 he discovered his true calling — international development — and once again went into public service, joining the U.S. State Department. He moved his family to Karachi, Pakistan where, among other things, he helped plan a railroad extension from Pakistan to Afghanistan. He was then assigned to a position in Egypt, where he planned a telecommunications network between Cairo and Damascus.
Mr. Stratton-Crooke brought his family back to the U.S., and in 1968, he joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, where he worked for the remainder of his career. In 1990 he retired as the director of UNIDO. Under his leadership, industrial improvements were made to nations around the world, helping countless impoverished people. Post-retirement, he was devoted to his family and in particular his grandchildren, whom he helped raise, and to his church, St. James the Less in Scarsdale. His family said he would be remembered for his integrity, faith, strength of character, generosity and kindness, and the profound impact that he had on family, friends and community will live on for many years to come.
Mr. Stratton-Crooke is survived by his wife Nancy, his brother Thomas, his sister Joan, his cousin Edith, his children James, Susan and Diana (Patrick), his grandchildren Miriam, Eric (Hwi-Won), Pamela, Luke and Kate, and his great-grandchildren James, Arthur, Ruby and Andrew. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps.