We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.
Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)
City of residence (upon passing)
State/province of residence (upon passing)
Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)
Date of death (day if known, month, year)
ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)
Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.
CROUSE, DR. ROBERT
Dr. Robert Crouse, 71, died April 5 at his home in The Villages, Fla. Crouse grew up in Michigan, the youngest of seven children. His mother was a teacher. After high school, he followed in his mother's footsteps, graduating from Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in special education.
In 1968, Crouse and his wife, Maxine Cavin, moved to Birmingham, England, where he took a job as director of the National Mobility Centre. It was during that assignment that Crouse developed a system that helped blind and visually impaired people learn to walk with a cane.
He returned to the United States in the early 1970s, working as executive director of the Atlanta Area Services for the Blind. In 1979, he accepted what he thought would be a temporary assignment at the Maine Institution for the Blind. The institution was in the process of closing.
"[Dad] went to the board of directors and told them, 'I think we can turn this around,'" his son Eric Crouse recalled. He was subsequently hired as the school's executive director, serving in that role from 1979 to 1995.
Crouse not only worked with blind and visually impaired people, he taught others to be their teachers. He also developed several programs that allowed blind and visually impaired people to make products. None of those programs were lucrative, but they taught valuable job skills.
"There were more important things in this life to my father than making money," his son said. "When I was looking through his desk drawers recently I found dozens of notes and thank-you letters from the people he had mentored."
In 1995, Crouse returned to Atlanta to become executive director of the Blind and Low Vision Services of North Georgia. He retired in 2006. A memorial service (date and time TBA) will be held this summer in Portland.