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Crayton Awtry '54 February 21, 2020 4:44 PM updated: February 21, 2020 4:45 PM

Crayton Wayne Awtry, 87, of Sun City Center, Florida, passed away on January 31, 2020. Crayton was born in Tyler, Texas, on Nov. 1, 1932, the second child to Viola Mae and Ira “Frank” Awtry. His mother was a homemaker and later worked in a school cafeteria, and his father was an oil worker before he passed when Crayton and his siblings were young.

After graduating from Wichita Falls High School in 1950, Crayton went on to Texas A&M University on a military scholarship as a proud member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, graduating in 1954. He loved to “play ball,” staying active for much of his life with activities like basketball and volleyball, and his love for sports — especially his beloved Aggies, New York Yankees, and Dallas Cowboys — continued his whole life.

In 1958, it was love at first sight when, at an Air Force volleyball game he played in in New York, Crayton met Norma Kelly, who would become his devoted wife of 61 years. A few years later, Crayton and Norma welcomed their daughter, Deborah, into the world in Izmir, Turkey.

During his years serving our country, Crayton trained as a navigator and then transitioned into logistics. He was selected for a special U.S. team that established a classified military presence on Easter Island. His successful 20-year career in the Air Force took Crayton and his family across the U.S., up until his retirement in 1974 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

During his retirement years in Sun City, Crayton dedicated his time to organizations such as the Democratic Club, the Retired Officers’ Association, the local Texas A&M Club and Friends of the Library — and of course to his family, for which he was always there.

Crayton’s greatest legacy is the love he showered upon his daughter and granddaughters, Kelly and Amy, who were blessed to grow so very close to their Nana and Papa. Even in his final months battling various ailments, he never forgot to say “I love you.” We are blessed to have someone who makes saying goodbye so difficult.

Crayton is survived by his wife, Norma; his daughter, Debbie (Awtry) Price; granddaughters Kelly and Amy Price; son-in-law Phil Price; and brothers Ronnie and Jimmie Awtry, of Wichita Falls, Texas. He was preceded in death by his mother, Viola McDonald; his father, Ira “Frank” Awtry; and his sister, Virginia.

A private burial with full military honors will take place at a later date at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Texas A&M Foundation:

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