Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson on deceased gay staffer Chris Crowe: ‘He never met a stranger’

Chris Crowe (Courtesy of Eddie Bernice Johnson’s office)

Earlier we mentioned that Chris Crowe, a gay staffer for Democratic Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who also served as president of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, died Wednesday at 29.

Johnson, a longtime LGBT ally, issued a statement on Crowe’s death Wednesday night.

“He was respected by his colleagues for his professionalism; he was beloved by many for his generous spirit and good humor,” Johnson said of Crowe. “He was a person who enjoyed life and always had a smile to share. He never met a stranger.”

Crowe was a Kentucky native who worked as an intern for the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in 2005. According to Roll Call, he studied government and global securities at Johns Hopkins University before becoming a staff assistant for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. Crowe became a staff assistant in Johnson’s office in 2006, and last year he was promoted to legislative assistant. From Roll Call:

Crowe, 29, had open-heart surgery last summer after being stricken with meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Friends say he looked to be on the road to recovery, but Crowe took ill last week with a staph infection that caused severe heart damage.

He was on bypass, but when doctors removed him from the machine, his aorta blew and they were unable to stop the bleeding in time.

Originally from Kentucky, Crowe was full of Southern charm and friendly warmth, said Kat Skiles, Crowe’s friend and communications director for the LGBT Congressional Staff Association.

According to Johnson’s office, funeral arrangements are pending. A memorial book in which people can sign condolences was set up today in the Rayburn House Office Building.

—  John Wright