John Uri Crites

John Uri Crites, 85, a retired aerospace engineer, husband, father (5), grandfather (14) and great-grandfather (21) passed away peacefully at home in Newport Beach, October 5, 2011.

John was born in Los Angeles, 1925 to Viola Agnes Uri and Clarence Dynes Crites. His family, older brother and lifetime best friend, Cyrus, and younger sister, Mary, moved to Oklahoma when he was 9 years old. John graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1950.  He was a loyal fraternal member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  At an exchange with Delta Gamma he met the love of his life and wife of 61 years, Edwina Cornish.
After serving in WWII as an officer in the US Army Air Corps, he became a project manager and design engineer for McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, Ford Aeronutronics and Northrup-Grumman. He contributed to the design of the F101 Voodoo, the Mercury and Gemini space capsules, the DC 10, F-18 Hornet and the B-2 Stealth bomber. John retired in 1995.
In retirement, John, an Eagle Scout, volunteered to research community needs, help create a vision and draft a proposal for the renovation of the Boy Scouts of America, Newport Sea Base in Newport Beach.  He was awarded the Boy Scout Council Baden Powell Award for his service in 2000.

John was a naturalist who marveled at the design of nature.  He loved to spend time with his family in the country, canoe, sail and fish.   His hobbies included beekeeping, woodworking, wine making, and horticulture.  

John is survived by his wife, Edwina, five children: Julie Bissell (William), Nancy Thornton (Edward), Jeanne Saul (Jonathan), John C. Crites (Nancy), Mary Stinnett, ten nieces and nephews, fourteen grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be held October 10, 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angeles Catholic Church in Newport Beach followed by a reception at the Boy Scouts of America, Newport Sea Base. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the John U. Crites Fund, Newport Sea Base.

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