IAGenWeb ~ Decatur County IA ~ Lt. Col. Raymond H. "Ray" Creswell (Ret.) obituary



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Lt. Col. Raymond H. "Ray" Creswell (Ret.)
March 09, 1922 - January 01, 2011

Leon Journal-Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa

Lt. Col. Raymond H. Creswell (Ret), a longtime resident of Fort Walton Beach, FL passed away peacefully at home on January 1, 2011, surrounded by his loving wife, Fritz, family and friends.

Col. Creswell was born in Decatur, Iowa on March 9, 1922 to John and Florence Creswell. Ray aspired to become a pilot from an early age and through hard work, endeavors and intellect these desires came to fruition when he joined the Army Air Corps in 1943. He has a storied and illustrious career during WWII serving as a bomber escort P-51 Mustang Pilot in England.

After the war he returned to Des Moines, Iowa where he met and married Fritz Huntington on January 19, 1947. With the onset of the Korean War, Ray was recalled into the service of the U.S. Air Force and went on to serve his country through the Korean and Vietnam wars retiring in 1970. Upon retirement Ray was employed as one of the first Sky Marshalls and later worked for Preston Hood Chevrolet. As Ray was always interested in serving his fellow man and being civic minded, he became a long standing active member of the Fort Walton Kiwanis Club and honored his flying comrades as a member of the Order of Daedalians. He served as president of the Northwest Florida Porsche Club competing in Concourse Porsche Parades throughout the United States. He was a member of the Northwest Florida Retired Officers Club and of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society.

Ray enjoyed playing golf with his friends, bridge with his wife, Fritz and serving with his wife in numerous philanthropic endeavors. He especially loved his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and being a loving “Dad” to numerous dogs through the years.

Ray is survived by Fritz, his loving wife of 64 years, and four children; Cindi Rawlins (David) Dunwoody GA, Becky Henry (Bart), Port St. Lucie Fl, Scott Creswell (Catherine), Bahrain and Marc Creswell Carlsbad, CA, and four grandchildren, Martha, Elizabeth, Rachel and Jason and five great grandchildren, Christian, Mary Elizabeth, Emma, Kaitlyn and Clayton. He is predeceased by his parents and one granddaughter, Melissa Henry and four siblings.

Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 134 Beal St., Ft. Walton Beach, FL, on January 5, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a reception at First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. Burial will take place at Beal Memorial Cemetery after the reception.

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth.
Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft throught footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sancitity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2018