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Richard Crisp

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Richard A. Crisp, Sr., 78, of Edmond, OK, passed away on May 25, 2008. Richard was born on September 20, 1929 to Gus and Merral Crisp in Mangum, OK. Following his graduation from Mangum High School, he attended Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri and then Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater. He moved to California in 1950 and entered the United States Army in 1952. Following his release from active duty in January, 1954, he returned to school at the University of Oklahoma. There he earned his Bachelor's degree and was commissioned a second Lieutenant of Field Artillery. He returned to active duty in 1956 and retired with 21 years of service on August 1, 1974 as a Lt. Colonel, Military Police Corps. During Richard's military career, he was assigned to various military bases in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Washington, D.C., Georgia, and Kansas. It was during his assignment at Fort Riley, Kansas that he met and married his wife Phyllis. He also served in four overseas theatres of operation: Korea, Germany, Okinawa, and Vietnam. In 1974, Richard and his family returned to Oklahoma and he was appointed Warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. There he faced the task of returning order to the riot-torn prison. He served in this capacity for four years before being appointed Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. He served as Director from 1974 to 1978 where he had the unenviable job of enforcing the State's liquor laws during a tumultuous time in the State's history. He faced this arduous task as he faced his duties at McAlester with great tenacity. Richard accepted the position of Director, State Government Relations with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States in Washington, D.C. in 1982. He served in this capacity until 1993 when he retired. After having lived in nineteen locations all over the world, Richard and Phyllis returned to Oklahoma and established a home in Edmond. Richard received many honors and awards throughout the years, including the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit during his military service. He was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Freemason, an India Shriner, and a member of the Military Officers Association of America. Richard was very proud of his years of distinguished service to his state and country, but his proudest achievement was being a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Richard is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Phyllis Crisp, and parents, Gus and Merral Crisp.His survivors include one son, Richard A. Crisp Jr. two stepdaughters, Michele McCarthy Sweatman and Cynthia Jean Naylor three grandchildren, Trey Crisp, Christopher Sweatman, and Maegan Gore one sister, Imogene L. Sieg and his beloved dog, Harley. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, May 31st at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond Okla., with interment to follow at 3:30 at Riverside Cemetery in Mangum, Okla. The family requests that any donations be made to the disabled veterans. Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home.

Published in The Oklahoman on May 29, 2008
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