Frank Crites Jr. '61 October 24, 2023 4:05 PM updated: October 24, 2023 4:31 PM
Frank William Crites
April 4, 1921 - February 26, 2014
Frank William Crites, 92, went home to dance once again with his beloved wife Lue on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Born April 4, 1921, to Frank and Josie Crites in Prescott AZ, Frank was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Lue, his great grandson Gavin Pepper, and by his parents and siblings.
He is survived by his children, Rocky WJ Crites and wife Cheryl of Dixon CA; Clara Dudak and husband David of Albuquerque, Lee Crites and wife Patricia of Canyon TX; and Bill Hanson of Albuquerque, as well as nephews John Crites and wife Joy of Albuquerque, and Ron Crites of Prescott Valley AZ. His legacy also includes 11 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Frank was activated for WWII at the age of 17 and served in the Infantry in Panama. He also served in the Korean Conflict and in Vietnam. He was a career pilot who began his military flying career in the Army Air Corps, which eventually became the US Air Force. Although he never earned a high school diploma, he earned a Bachelor's Degree and later a Master's Degree in Meteorology, and was involved in every aspect of military weather forecasting in the AF until he transitioned into Air Rescue and Recovery prior to serving in Vietnam. During his military career, he was stationed in Panama, North Africa, Japan, Vietnam, and Germany, as well as numerous duty stations in the US. During WWII he participated in the top secret development and testing of airborne radar designed to hunt submarines as well as in the development of radar bombing systems. As part of his work in the military weather forecasting field, he worked on the development of programming models to help forecast thunderstorms using radar.
In retirement, he and his wife Lue traveled extensively in their motor home and enjoyed their involvement in local service groups in Abilene Texas. They moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to live close to family.
His was a life well lived, and his absence will be felt by many who knew and loved him. If desired, memorial donations may be made in his name to The Alzheimer's Association/north central Texas [http://www.alz.org/northcentraltexas or 325-672-2907], The Salvation Army [www.salvationarmyusa.org], or the Abilene Open Door [325-672-0190].
Service will take place Friday, March 7, 2014 at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South, Abilene, at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park.