College Place resident, Richard Bertrum McCrea, 89, died Nov. 6, 2009, at his home.
The memorial service will be 2 p.m., Thursday, at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362. The Rev. Robin Peterson of the College Place Presbyterian Church will officiate. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice through the funeral home.
Mr. McCrea was born Nov. 5, 1920, in Spokane, to Samuel Star and Lillian Chalmers McCrea. He graduated in 1942 from Jenkins High School, Chewelah, Wash. Following graduation from high school, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and trained as a fighter pilot and aerial gunner, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. On June 28, 1947, he and Ruth Elizabeth Bock married in Moscow, Idaho. In 1950, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Bachelor of Education degree from Whitworth College, Spokane. He graduated from the University of Montana in 1964, with a Master of Education degree.
The family moved to College Place from Chester, Mont. in 1977. He worked in public education in Montana and Washington as a teacher, elementary principal and superintendent for 35 years.
He was an avid reader of western history, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, military history and science fiction. A woodworker, he made turned wooden bowls. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fly fishing, hiking, snow skiing, camping and archeology. He was very musical and belonged to a barbershop quartet in Chester and the Helena Symphony. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Rotary Club and the Masonic Lodge.
He is survived by his wife at the home; two daughters, Wendy McCrea of College Place and Margie McCrea of Rawlins, Wyo.; a son, Rich McCrea of Boise, Idaho; a sister, Maxine Pitts of Okanogan, Wash; three brothers, Samuel McCrea of Colville, Wash., Beauford McCrea of Port Angeles, Wash., and James McCrea of Chewelah; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.