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David "Dave" Cravey '49 January 28, 2020 2:40 PM updated: January 28, 2020 2:43 PM

Harrell Funeral Home of Austin obituary
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 443-1366

Colonel David Oliver Cravey
January 21, 1929 - January 21, 2020

Colonel David Oliver Cravey, passed away on his 91st birthday on January 21st, in Amarillo, Texas. Dave was born on January 21st, 1929 in Dayton, Texas to Robert J. Cravey and Emma Simms Cravey. Dave graduated from Reagan High School in 1947. Dave met his lifetime love Nelda Gentry in 1947 at the Love baseball diamond in Houston. Dave knew after a "four-minute conversation" that Nelda was "the one" and they married on a very hot day in Houston on August 4, 1951. As David served in the Air Force, they shared great adventures building their life together in Nassau Bay, Houston, Lubbock, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Germany, France, and Chicago. In 1977 they built their dream home in Austin, where they resided for over 40 years. The two would have celebrated their 68th anniversary on August 4th but Nelda passed on July 14th, 2019. For the past 6 months he missed her dearly and missed those "blue bird days" when they loaded up for a golf cart tour with a glass of wine. On this birthday, they were together again toasting and celebrating with a glass of "Mountain Rhine."

Dave was a devoted husband and provider, a wonderful father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend. He loved his family, looking forward to every get together. He would start planning the next one, even before the last one ended. The 4th of July was a big celebration at their home in Lost Creek. All family knew the "magic code C70" to get whatever you desired from the country club. It was pure joy for Dave to have "his babies" close and enjoying the fruits of his labor. Dave was described by his sons as the most loyal man they ever knew. He would give away his last dime or travel cross country to come to the aid of any family member, friend, or friend of the family that needed his help. Being a depression baby, Dave came from humble beginnings, but possessed a true grit and desire to succeed and make his hard-working parents proud. After scraping his way to and through college, he graduated from Texas A&M University in the class of 1951. Dave was a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.

Dave was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force in 1951 and began his military career at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. He went through Pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas in 1952. In 1954-55 Dave and Nelda spent time in Munich, Germany, Toul-Rosiere, France, and finished his active duty career at Everuex, France, flying C-45s. In 1957 Dave joined the 446th Troop Carrier Wing as active duty air force reserve and began flying the C-119 Box Car and eventually the C-130 Hercules in the 924th Troop Carrier Squadron. In 1973 Lt. Colonel Cravey went to the War College at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated with a MPA from Auburn University after completing studies designed to prepare senior officers for high level command, including courses in issues and threats affecting our national security. In 1974 Dave became the director of operations at the 440th TCW, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in 1975 he returned to Ellington as the Central Regions Director of Operations. In 1978 Dave was promoted to full Colonel and took command of the 928th Tactical Airlift Group, Chicago-Ohara, Ill. In 1980 Dave retired from his ART career and returned to the 924th as a civilian executive officer at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. Colonel Cravey retired on February 4, 1989.

Dave loved his family dearly and was involved in coaching his sons little league baseball teams, which included a championship or two! He and Nelda were long-time season ticket holders at Kyle Field where they enjoyed Aggie football and friends. They were founding members, with several other couples, in the Heritage Society with Texas A&M University.

Dave was proceeded in death by: his father, Robert J Cravey; his mother, Emma Sims Cravey; his beautiful beloved daughter; Cathy Lynne; sister Bobbie Cook, and infant brother David Robert Cravey.
He is survived by his sons; Daniel Stephen Cravey and wife Lorna of Corpus Christi; a son Matthew David Cravey and wife Gina of Canyon, Texas; grandchildren Derek Rowe, Sarah Cravey Ochsankehl and husband Andy, Logan Cravey, Morgan Cravey, Jennifer Angelini, Travis Cravey, and great grandchildren Carter Rowe, William, Madeline, and Samantha Ochsankehl, and Liam Angelini. Dave is survived by his siblings Tom Cravey, Ed Cravey, Emily Martinsen, and Robin Cravey.

Visitation will be held 2:00 PM, Thursday, January 30, 2020 at Westlake United Methodist Church, 1460 Redbud Trail, Austin, TX 78746. Funeral Services will follow at 2:30 PM. Graveside Services with military honors, will be held at 9:30 AM, Friday, January 31, 2020 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX.
Please click the link to view an interview of Colonel Cravey by the Veteran's Project:


Westlake United Methodist Church
1460 Redbud Trail
Austin, Texas 78746
2:00 PM

Westlake United Methodist Church
1460 Redbud Trail
Austin, Texas 78746
2:30 PM

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Road
San Antonio, TX, United States 78209
9:30 AM

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