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Raymond C. CRITTENDEN Jr.

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Raymond C. CRITTENDEN Jr. Obituary
NEWPORT NEWS - Raymond Celester Crittenden Jr., departed this life on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.
He was the son of the late Raymond C. Crittenden Sr. and Rosa Cary Crittenden. He was born on Dec. 7, 1926, Richmond, Va.
He was a graduate of Armstrong High School, Richmond, Va. He earned a B.S, Degree from Virginia State College, Petersburg, Va., and a M.S. Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. He completed post graduate work at Hampton University, Hampton, Va., and the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps 1945-1947 and U.S. Army Corps Reserves 1947-1950. While in the Army Air Corps, he attended the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii.
His professional career as an educator, coach and school administrator with the Newport News Public School System spanned 50 years. He served as a coach, mentor and role model to students at Huntington High School, 1954-1969; an administrator at Denbigh and Warwick High Schools, 1969-1988; and Night Administrator for Continuing Education until 2004. He was extremely proud of the accomplishments of his students and athletes. Many became consummate professionals.
His athletic abilities are legendary. He played varsity football and basketball in high school and was voted the "Best Male Athlete" in 1944. In college, he started in every football and basketball game, lettered in football, basketball and track, was an all CIAA Conference football and basketball player and held a 10-year record for most points scored in a basketball game. In the Army, he was the only black American to play football and was voted the team's 1945 "Most Valuable Player."
He was a member of the Virginia State University Alumni Association, Indiana University Alumni Association, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and a former member of the Dochiki Civic and Social Club. Some of his awards include: 2004 Induction into the Hampton Roads African American Sports Hall of Fame; 1990 Induction in the Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame; 1988 Secondary School Administrator of the Year; 1980 Newport News Mayor's Youth Commission Award; 1980 STRIVE, Inc. Youth Service Award; 1967 Virginia Interscholastic Association District Basketball Coach of the Year; 1961 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Man of the Year.
He was an avid traveler. His journeys took him throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia.
Affectionately known as "Coach," he is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Flora Davis Crittenden of Newport News, Va.; his three children, Raymond C. Crittenden III and his wife, Deborah of Fairfax, Va., Thursa D. Crittenden and her husband, Thomas W. Selden Jr. of Suffolk, Va., and Alonzo L. Crittenden of Hampton, Va.; his sister, Geraldine C. Turner of Newport News, Va.; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and a host of cousins, relatives, special students and friends.
A Celebration of Life to honor "Coach" will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at Huntington Middle School. His funeral mass will be held noon Saturday, Jan. 9, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
If persons wish to continue "Coach's" work with young people, they may make a tax-deductible donation to the Flora D. Crittenden Foundation, 2124 Soundings Crescent Court, Suffolk, VA 23435.
Professional services are entrusted to O.H. Smith & Son Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.

Published in Daily Press from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8, 2010
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