|Birth: ||Oct. 11, 1916|
|Death: ||Sep. 2, 2003|
OTTAWA --- W.F. "Bill" Critchfield, 86, Ottawa, died Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003, in Ottawa.
Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Evergreen Cemetery in Effingham. Mr. Critchfield will lie in state today at Dengel & Son Mortuary in Ottawa, where visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Memorials may be made to Franklin County Cancer Foundation.
September 10, 2003
Serving Anderson, Southern Franklin and Western Linn Counties
"W.F. ‘Bill' Critchfield
Graveside services and interment for W.F. ‘Bill' Critchfield, 86, Ottawa, KS, were Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 11:00 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, Effingham, KS, with Ted Buckley officiating. Mr. Critchfield died Tuesday, September 2, at Village Manor Nursing Home, Ottawa, KS.
W.F. ‘Bill' Critchfield was born October 11, 1916, in Grasshopper Township, Atchison County, KS, the son of Thomas Waller and Minnie Lou (Murray) Critchfield. He grew up in Effingham and graduated from Effingham High School with the Class of 1934. He attended Kansas State University and later completed a Master's degree in Civil Engineering through correspondence. He later lived in Overland Park, KS, South Dakota, Arlington, TX, Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, and Alaska, retiring in Ottawa in 1989.
Bill served in the United States Marine Corps from October 1942, to December 1945, duringWorld War II. He was a Marine Raider, an elite specialized fighting force made up of expert riflemen with jungle training, who were first to land on beaches to clear them for troops to follow. In the Pacific Theater, he ran the Gauntlet with no escort to New Caledonie, where he saw his first combat. He also saw combat at Guadal Canal, Tulaqui Island, Green Island, Macan Island, Tarawa, Saipan, and Guam.
From Guam, he proceeded to Okinawa and prepared for the invasion of Japan, when they surrendered. He was a member of the 4th Regiment that was present at the Japanese surrender and secured the cities of Yakasuska, Yokahamah, and Tokyo. He obtained the rank of Corporal and earned citations and medals, including the Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theater Medal, World War II Victory medal, three bronze stars, and the Honor Man award of his platoon. From 1937-1939, Bill farmed in the Effingham community. From 1940-1942, he moved to Texas to work on government construction projects, namely, Perrin Field, near Sherman; Blackland Flying School, near Waco, and Fort Hood, near Killeen. He then worked in the construction of the Canol Project, Alaska Territory, a pipeline from the Skagway terminal through the White Pass to Whitehorse in the Yukon territory, to Watson Lake, now known as the AlCan Highway, to Norman Wells near the Arctic Circle.
After his military discharge in 1945, Bill was engaged in construction of highways and soil conservation projects in South Dakota, and later, Kansas, selling his construction company in 1961.
In 1961, he began work for Missouri Valley Constructors of Amarillo, TX, as project superintendent for power plants in East Texas and Iowa. In 1971, he began as project manager for Daniel International, which later became FLUOR-DANIEL, constructing a paper mill in Hodge, LA, followed by a power plant for KCP&L and KG&E in LaCygne, KS, and KAP&L and ST.JOE P&E power plant in Iatan, MO.
Upon completion of the plant in Iatan, he was assigned to the Kansas City office as manager of construction for the power division for the erection of all fossil fuel plants. He was lead project manager for power plants in Nevada Power Company, Las Vegas, NV; Louisville Gas & Electric, Louisville, KY; Florida Power Company (two units), Crystal River, FL; and Tennessee Valley Authority, Peducah, KY, retiring in 1986.
Bill was a member of Effingham Union Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1175, American Legion, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons Lodge #158, and Order of the Eastern Star Martha Washington Lodge #215, all of Atchison, KS. He was also a member of the York Rite of Kansas and Abdullah Shrine of Kansas City.
Bill and Claudine Lola Jarvis were married on December 25, 1937, at Fort Worth, TX.
Mr. Critchfield was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Waller Critchfield; his mother, Minnie Lou Critchfield-Sells; and his step-father, Clarence (C.E.) Sells.
Bill is survived by his wife, Claudine Critchfield, Ottawa, KS; his daughters, Sara Lynn Vallier, Richmond, KS, and Theda Gay Onofrietti, Arlington, TX; his brother, Dr. Tom Critchfield, Lake Stevens, WA; his granddaughters, Angelle Dugas, Eu Claire, WI, and Lauren Webb, Arlington, TX; and his great-grandsons, Victor Willis Bergeron and Blake Bergeron, both of Eu Claire, WI. The family received friends on Friday, September 5, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Franklin County Cancer Foundation, and left in care of the funeral home.
Dengel and Son Mortuary, Ottawa, KS, was in charge of arrangements."
Thomas Waller Critchfield (1892 - 1920)
Minnie Lou Murray Sells (1893 - 1987)
Created by: Stephen Nottingham
Record added: May 22, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70205158
Added: Jun. 8, 2012
Added: Oct. 10, 2011