Keith Criss, Lt. Col USA (Ret.), age 87 of Copperas Cove, passed away on Saturday, March 5, 2022 in Copperas Cove.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 11, 2022 at Scott’s Funeral Home Chapel. Burial with full military honors and Masonic Rites will follow at the Gatesville Masonic Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th at the funeral home.
Carl Keith Criss was born on March 4, 1935 in Centerville, Ohio. He grew up in Somerton and Akron, Ohio. He graduated from South High School in Akron, Ohio in 1953. He received his bachelor’s degree in business, from the University of Akron in 1957, where he was in R.O.T.C. After his college graduation, he entered the U.S. Army and was stationed in many locations throughout the United States and abroad, serving one tour in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. He was a transportation officer in the transportation corp. during his military career and was in charge of transporting Bob Hope’s show throughout Southeast Asia. Also, while stationed in Hawaii, he was responsible for the motor escort in transporting President Nixon to greet the Apollo 13 astronauts. He transferred from active duty to the Army Reserve in 1972 as a Major and retired in 1980 from the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. After his retirement, he began a second career as a civil service employee at Ft. Hood, where he was one of the railroad engineer’s and later with the Department of Logistics. He retired the second time at the age of 70 in 2005.
Keith was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove and was active in many organizations throughout his lifetime to include the Masonic Lodge, where he was a dual member of local lodges, the Order of Eastern Star, Scottish Rite and Shriners. Wherever he resided, he was always involved in the local boy scouts, where he served as scout master. He was also an active member of the Kempner Volunteer Fire Department, American Legion Post 277 in Lampasas, M.O.A.A. (Military Officers Association of America) and the Military Order of World Wars. Keith loved to travel and see America, visiting every state in the United States, except Alaska. In September of 2021, he fulfilled his bucket list by going on a cruise to Alaska with his daughter, Cynthia.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Virginia Byers Criss; son, William Powell (Bill) Criss in 1980; and his wife, Inge Criss in 2015.
Keith is survived by his daughters, Cynthia Waxman and husband, Tom of Reno, Nevada, Elizabeth Johnson and husband, Darrell of Parksville, Kentucky, Erica Martin and husband, Randy of Van Alstyne, Texas; six grandchildren, Shane Balzen, Criss Martin, Jennifer Bull, Justin Johnson, Jessica Johnson, Hunter Puszkiewicz; and nine great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Kempner Volunteer Fire Department, 315 Pecan St, Kempner, TX 76539 or Immanuel Lutheran Church, 922 Lutheran Church Rd., Copperas Cove, Texas 76522.
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