|In Memory of David Crittenden|
Friends 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.
Sharing Memories of David
"I did not know David for very long, but I enjoyed visiting with him on occasion when I went into his office. He was always offering goodies and he was pleasant to talk to. I enjoyed his sense of humor and we could laugh together. He was always ready to help me if I had a question. He is the type of person that makes an impression on you when you first meet him that will last. He will be very much missed by everyone. My prayers go out to his family and friends."
- Dena Wagner
"During my graduate studies at the UT Aerospace Department, David and some other folks who worked in the department used to invite me to their Friday Happy Hour at Jaime's Spanish Village, an old Mexican cantina here in Austin that has since closed. The invitation was an honor and the event a privilege, one that I always looked forward to during the week. These Friday gatherings offered me an opportunity to de-compress with intriguing conversation (and a margarita), to let my mind drift from the science that consumed my week to topics within the world of art, culture, and politics, topics that David was intimately acquainted with and only too willing to discuss. I am so glad to have had an opportunity to unwind with David during Friday Happy Hours. He definitely helped to educate this engineer on the humanities, and I enjoyed every minute of the education. I will miss him."
Rest in Peace,
- Jeremy J
BS ASE '95, PhD ASE 2008
"David was a great guy! He was always so patient with me, a TA who could never remember the pass code to the copier, and he was happy (perhaps even enthusiastic) to teach me ways to copy and scan more efficiently. I appreciated that he always shared his sarcastic humor with me, and happily obliged my humble attempts to return the laughs. In the limited capacity I knew him, David was a good person, and a very positive presence in the department. I am very sorry he left so young...He will be missed!"
- Drew Jones
"He was a fun curmudgeon. You could talk to him for a long time due to his variety of interests and passions. A true old Austinite and hippy. Like the Dude in the Big Lebowski, he was laid back and frustrated at the fast pace of the world. They both wore Ray Ban hipster glasses which is not a coincidence. He had a big smile for those that were privileged to see it. We have lost a true soul."
- Will Wise
"When I first started working with David 3 ½ years ago, he seemed to be a yellow onion; rough yet firm and had a crackly outer skin. In fact, I was a little intimidated by him because of that. But as I got to know him, his layers peeled back, until I reached the heart of the onion, which has brought me to tears. We all worked in the garden of David’s life, which will never bloom the same again. He will be sorely missed."
- Sara Ricke
"David was a friend in the Aerospace Department. He represented Austin to me - his free spirit, his quick wit, his good humor. Many times I asked David to do something special. He would always give me a look that said, “What do you want this time?” and then his expression would break into a big smile. He understood the university and he knew how to get things done. The Aerospace Department is diminished by David’s loss. Rest well, my friend."
- Glenn Lightsey
"David was more than just a coworker to me. We enjoyed many meaningful conversations over our favorite freshly ground coffee throughout the years. He introduced me to a wide variety of great music, and I was fortunate enough to join him for many Austin shows. Although curmudgeonly at times, I always knew he cared for me in a special way. Thank you, Uncle Dave – I’ll always have fond memories of our long talks, your fatherly wisdom and last, but not least, the delicious chocolates you so generously shared. I’ll miss you dearly."
- Kendra Harris
"You will be missed."
- Travis Crooks
"David was my friend. Through our mutual love of movies, he got me to join the Austin Film Society and over the years we saw hundreds of movies. We also saw more live music than I can remember. I’m sorry we never made our trip to Placencia. I’ll miss him."
- Scott Messec