D. Crew

Obituary of D. Bruce Crew

D. Bruce Crew III "Pete" September 27, 1937 - January 6, 2021 Henry Miller wrote, "the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." David Bruce Crew III, "Pete" to his family and close friends, passed away on January 6, 2021. His 83 years of life were truly lived, and first and foremost Pete lived his life with love. More than anything else he loved Fran, his wife of 62 years. He loved his children and their spouses, his grandchildren, his other family members, his dogs, and his many, many, many close friends. He loved his hometown of Elmira and his home in the country. He loved his adopted hometown of Penn Yan on Keuka Lake, where as a young man he became a professional water skier. He loved all the beauty and the wonderful history of both towns, and he loved the lake. He loved packing up the camper with Fran and their dogs and traveling through Alaska (three times), and to Florida, Nebraska, Montana, and so many other places. He loved fishing and hunting, and reading and trains, cooking and making jams and jellies. Pete also loved the law. From the time he was young Pete wanted to be a lawyer and a judge, and he more than accomplished those goals. He often said there wasn't a day that he went to work that he didn't look forward to. He started his path to law school by way of Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana (where he later taught water skiing and where his children David and Connie eventually followed). After graduating from Culver in 1955 he attended Colgate University, earning his Bachelor of Arts in 1959. From there he went to Albany Law School where he became a member of the Albany Law Review before graduating in 1962. Pete started his legal career as a confidential law clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Harold E. Simpson. In 1964 he became an associate in the Elmira law firm of Sayles, Evans, Brayton, Palmer & Tifft. In 1965 he became a partner with Donovan, Graner, Davidson & Burns in Elmira, and while continuing in that position, from 1968 to 1971 he also served in the Chemung County District Attorney's Office as an assistant district attorney. He was elected Chemung County District Attorney in 1973, and in 1983 Pete was sworn in as a judge on the New York State Supreme Court in the Sixth Judicial District. (Always one to make a statement, Pete walked out in a powdered wig for the ceremony.) In 1987 he became the District Administrative Judge for the Sixth Judicial District, and in 1991 he was appointed as an Associate Justice to the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department, where he served until his retirement in 2007. In addition to the pride he took in his work on the bench, Pete immensely enjoyed the camaraderie of his colleagues and could be counted on to lighten the mood during tense oral arguments. He was also well known for handing out t-shirts and other memorabilia at the end of the court term to commemorate the year's most notable cases. During the entirety of his career so many of Pete's colleagues became his good friends, and many of them became like family. Pete's wife and children remember the investigators, assistant district attorneys, law clerks and others who spent as much time in the Crew household as they did in their own homes. This was true of many neighbors and family friends, as well. Pete reveled in the times spent with colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family at picnics and other outings, golf tournaments, dinner parties, hunting and fishing trips, and occasions like the "annual judges' weekend" at Keuka Lake. The stories from these times spent with Pete are endless – and always hysterically funny. Pete loved teaching the law almost as much as he loved practicing it. From 1974-1993 he was a faculty member of the Department of Criminal Justice at Elmira College; in 1974 he wrote "Criminal Discovery in New York State – Selected Issues", which was revised annually and was included as part of his course curriculum. Over the years Pete was involved in the Elmira community as a board member, and often an officer, with the Neighborhood House, Child & Family Services, Elmira Little Theatre, the Elmira City Club, the Elmira Junior League, Chemung County Legal Services, the Elmira Country Club, and Fur, Fin & Feather. Pete also gave his time in different years as the chair of the Lawyers Division fund drive for St. Joseph's Hospital and the United Way, as a chairman of the Mount Savior Monastery annual fund drive, as an advisory board member of the Chemung County Stop DWI Program, and as a member of the Awards Committee of the Elmira Police Department. Pete was a lifelong Republican and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Chemung County Republican Party. Pete was also a member of several professional legal organizations, and lectured at judicial seminars across the State and Corning Community College, among other places. In 1986 Pete was honored by the New York State District Attorneys Association with the Frank S. Hogan Award. Pete is survived by his loving and devoted wife Fran, and by his daughters Michelle Crew (Chris Lassell), Jennifer Giglio (Chris), and Connie Rumsey (Tony), his son David Bruce Crew IV, his grandchildren Lauren Bills ( Jessie) and Christopher Giglio, Gillian, Eoin, and Hayden Crew, Nicholas and Jackson Rumsey, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Lynn and George Meyer, his aunt Harriet Canter, and many nieces and nephews. Because it was such an important part of their lives, Pete and Fran had begun studying to become oblates at the Mount Savior Monastery in Pine City, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Mount Savior Monastery, Mount Savior Road, Pine City, New York, 14871. A Celebration of "Pete's" Life will be held at a time to be announced. Pete will be laid to rest in St. Michael's Cemetery in Penn Yan, New York. Arrangements are entrusted to the LYNCH FUNERAL HOME 318 WEST BROAD STREET HORSEHEADS, NY. Words of Condolence and Memories may be shared at www.lynchsfuneralhome.com .
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