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Aug 18, 1925 - March 13, 2014 NORMAN Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tearle "Terry" Bruce Kring, 88, of Norman, Oklahoma, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday, March 13, 2014, surrounded by his family. A Celebration of Terry's life will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014, at the Havenbrook Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, with full military honors. Tearle was born on August 18, 1925, in Wirt, Oklahoma, and spent his early years in and around the Texas Panhandle/New Mexico area. He graduated from Lovington High School, New Mexico, in 1943. He received his first commission as an Army Air Corps Cadet and earned his wings in 1943. He then went on to acquire his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Geology at the University of Oklahoma in 1950. In 1951, he met and married Ramona Mae Crawford, of Seminole, Oklahoma. Following his love of flying, Tearle returned to the military. He was a career pilot for 25 years. He served tours in the United States and abroad. Most notably, he served as crew chief for B-52 airborne alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the Vietnam Conflict, he spent four years providing leadership to operations involving ground reconnaissance. He was awarded numerous commendations and citations. Upon retirement from the Air Force, Tearle utilized his first degree to enjoy a successful career as a consulting geologist in the Oklahoma oil fields. Due to his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he obtained his Master of Education degree from Central State University in 1983, which led to a third career in family counseling while living in Litchfield Park, Arizona. To his family and friends, Tearle was a consummate storyteller, who could hold a room captive with his wit and candor. During his retirement, he loved his work as a docent for the Sam Noble Natural History Museum in the "ancient life" room. He was one of the longest serving docents, having accrued over 2,000 hours through commitment and service. He was preceded in death by his father, Kyle Knight Kring; mother, Dorothy Jean (Caldwell) Born; and son, Kevin Bruce Kring. Tearle is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ramona Mae (Crawford) Kring; daughters: Terena Mae Kring, of Nebraska; Tris Anne Downer (Bruce), of Colorado; and Kyle Knight Kring II (Cristina), of Norman; grandchildren, Hunter Knight Kring, Taylor McKenzie Kring, Anne Marie Rivas, Tess Alexandria Downer, and Brooke Celeste Downer; great-grandchild, Connor Knight Kring; and his beloved Westies, Abbie and Cassie. Terry had an infectious enthusiasm for life, and for all those who knew him, he leaves a legacy built on integrity, loyalty and love. He will be missed but not forgotten. Given Tearle's lifelong philanthropic example, the family asks you to choose the charity which speaks to your heart and contribute in Tearle's memory. Arrangements for Tearle and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman. Online condolences may be shared at www.HavenbrookFuneralHome.com www.havenbrookfuneralhome.com
Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 16, 2014
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