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William Eugene Crites Sr.
December 22, 1941 - September 6, 2017

William Eugene Crites Sr. (some new him as "Gene" others knew him as "Bill") peacefully passed away at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Inman, Kansas on September 6, 2017, at the age of 75.

William is survived by his son William "Gene" Jr. and wife, Lisa, of Marshall, TX; four daughters Kelly Murray and husband, Patrick of Spartanburg, SC; Jessica Crites of Lindsborg, KS; Nicole Crites of Derby, KS; and Emily Crites of Wichita, KS; and six grandchildren Megan Murray, Krystiana Crites, Joseph Murray, Steven Murray, Riley Crites and Kennedi Kowalsky. He is preceded in death by his father, Robert "Bob" Crites; his mother, Lillian "Lilly" Stacy; his step-mother, Eula "Jean" Justic; his sister, Wanda White-Miller-Moll; his brother, Bobby Crites; and two grandchildren, Raquella Crites and Thomas Crites.

William was born on December 22, 1941, in Cape Girardeau, MO. He obtained his GED and entered the US Army at the age of 17. He married Virginia "Willette" Coplin in 1962 and was blessed with two children, William "Gene" Jr. and Kelly. He served 23 years in the US Army. During his service he acquired several college credits and various vocational certificates. He was ranked as a 1st Sergeant and served in Korea, as well as Germany, and fought in multiple tours of the Vietnam war. He retired from the US Army at Ft. Riley, KS in 1983 and was decorated with many medals and ribbons throughout his military career, which included the Purple Heart. He lived in Herington, KS prior to and after retiring from the Army.

In 1987 he moved to Beloit, KS and attended North Central Kansas Area Vocational Technical School, graduating in 1988 from the Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning course. He moved to Salina, KS in 1988 and began working for Systems 4, Inc., as a plumbing/heating/AC tech in Salina. He divorced in 1988.

In 1989 he married Amy Prellwitz and was blessed with three more daughters, Jessica, Nicole and Emily. Over the years he worked in quality control at Exide Battery in Salina, and later worked as a custodian for Salina Vo-Tech and USD 305. He divorced again in 2006.

He later moved to Ava, MO where he was active with the VFW. He then moved to Springfield, MO; Wichita, KS and after struggling with health problems, he moved to his final destination at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Inman, KS.

William enjoyed his nieces and nephews and loved his grandchildren dearly. He never turned down a meal and was an avid KC Chiefs fan. He enjoyed fishing, playing video games, and shopping at Wal-Mart. He was full of wild and extravagant stories and never missed an opportunity to share them. He was loved by family and friends and will be dearly missed.

It was William's wishes to be cremated, thus there will not be a viewing. A service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11, 2017, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Salina, KS, with a luncheon to follow. Fr. Kevin Weber will officiate the ceremony.

All are invited and welcome to attend to celebrate William's life. In lieu of flowers/plants, memorials in honor of William are to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation and may be sent to Ryan Mortuary, 137 N 8th St, Salina, KS 67401. Condolences may be sent to this address in care of The Crites Family. A burial of William's cremated remains at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery at Fort Riley, KS, is planned for a later date.