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John Crocker Mineral Collection
John Crocker 1951-2004
John was born in Luton but grew up mainly in Kent. He went to Sevenoaks School then, at 16 won an Exhibition to King's College Cambridge to read medicine. He specialised in Pathology and became a Consultant at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. He combined a busy career as a diagnostician with extensive research, which led first to an MD then an honorary Chair in Molecular Pathology at Birmingham University. He published papers, wrote books and was a gifted lecturer and teacher. His wish was to understand malignancy at a chemical level and he made an important contribution to the founding of molecular medicine as a specialty.
He was a true polymath, erudite in many subjects - cosmology, particle physics, 20th century literature, fine art and music. He had a great sense of fun and loved fireworks, model rockets, gadgets, photography and computers. He was generous, thoughtful and friendly to everyone and a devoted husband and father.
His interest in geology began in his teens. It combined his fascination for chemistry with his love of colour and beauty. His first purchase at 15 was piece of petrified tree. He collected steadily over a period of 30 years and had a special love of tourmaline. He loved to share his enthusiasm with others - especially children - and tours of his minerals were always popular with visitors. His collection comprised around 550 specimens chosen for beauty, chemical interest or even quirkiness! He knew them well and could tell their provenance without the labels. They lined the shelves in the study where he liked to read and listen to music and were very much part of his everyday life.
John's sudden and premature death at 53 left a huge gap in the lives of family, friends and colleagues. The world is a much duller place without him.
The collection is now to be dispersed, although we have kept some pieces with special memories and associations. I hope that the new owners will find as much interest, satisfaction and sheer joy in collecting as did John.
Offered for sale at the bequest of Kate Crocker is the late Dr. John Crocker's fine mineral collection amassed over the last 30 years.