Cockrell School of Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin

In Memory of David Crittenden

David CrittendenFriends and colleagues of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics mourn the loss of David Crittenden who passed away on the morning of Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

David Crittenden, much loved son of Dick and the late Barbara Crittenden of Jacksonville, Texas, was born on February 1, 1952. David grew up in Houston and attended Bellaire High School. He arrived in Austin in 1970 to attend The University of Texas at Austin, and like so many graduates he never left, finding his true home here in Austin, his heart lodged firmly south of the river.

David graduated with a degree in Anthropology at UT and for the rest of his life shared his knowledge and love of the study of human cultures with anyone with an interest. His passion for artistic innovation burned strong throughout his life; he was especially an astute and enthusiastic critic of film and music. A longtime member of the Austin Film Society, in recent years he religiously attended most of the society’s Tuesday night film series.

David worked for many years at IRS, but eventually settled at The University of Texas at Austin where he worked for 23 years, most recently as purchasing administrator for the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. He loved his work and was good at it.

David’s coworkers in UT Aerospace were his family, along with his close neighbors on Kenwood Avenue in Travis Heights. For many years he enjoyed swimming, refining the art of the grill and spirited and increasingly ridiculous conversations with friends. He was the life of the party and had fun so much of the time, loving creature comforts above all. David loved and collected Frankoma pottery, cookware and cookbooks, records and CDs.

At only 60 years of age, David’s life ended much too soon. He is survived by his father, Richard Crittenden, sister Delancey Spain and her husband Larry of Midlothian, Texas, and their children Michael and Sarah. He is also survived by several old friends in Austin who loved him and will remember him as family until the end of their days.

David will be sorely missed by his coworkers and friends in the department. ASE/EM department faculty, staff and students may email guestbook comments to