CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. - Howard Royce 'Howie ' Crittenden, 80 of Murray, Ky, passed away Friday, August 30, at 8:39 p.m. at his home.
He is survived by his wife Margaret 'Meg ' Crittenden and one son Howie Crittenden, Jr. of Murray. Also surviving is one brother Rev. Norman Crittenden of Covington, Tennessee, also two grandchildren, Taylor Crittenden of Murray, Ky., and Austin Crittenden of Mayfield, Ky., also several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death was his father Willie Crittenden and his mother Ruth Kemp Crittenden, a twin sister Helen Joyce Glover, Emily McNeely Glover, Mildred Wallace Key, Reba Coltharp Stewart, and Lola Mae Brann. A brother, W A 'Dub ' Crittenden and two infant brothers also predeceased him.
Howie earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Murray State University in 1956 and later obtained the Masters from Murray. He was named to Who's Who, the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society, a Distinguished Military Graduate, and All OVC in Basketball for three years.
Howie was a legendary high school basketball player. His 'Hoosier-like ' Cuba high school team thrilled the Kentucky basketball world in 1952 by winning the State High School Basketball Tournament. He was considered the number one high school player in Kentucky that year, and after the North-South game held at Murray, he was named a high school All-American.
His Murray State career was equally renowned. Crittenden, for many years, held the record for the most points scored by any Kentucky college player in a four year career. He also held the Murray State scoring record for 33 years. He is a member of the Murray State Hall of Fame and four other basketball Halls of Fame. His number 19 is permanently retired at Murray, and is one of few jerseys to hang from the rafters of Murray's CFSB basketball arena.
Though drafted by the New York Knicks, Crittenden elected to play for the Peoria Caterpillars in the National Industrial League. Crittenden was on the league All Star team all three years and was named to the AAU All-American Team each year. He was selected to be a member of the first USA Team that toured Russia in 1958 at the height of the cold war. They never lost.
He was commissioned a Lt in the United States Army Reserve and served on active duty for a year at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
After his basketball career and military service, Crittenden became an accomplished educator. He served as basketball coach at Metropolis High School and later at Calloway County High School. He was then named assistant basketball coach at the University of Missouri.
In 1966 he was asked to return to Calloway County High School as Principal and remained there for eight years. In 1974 he was named Principal of Henderson County High School, then the largest high school in Kentucky. He served in that position for 21 years. He was named Kentucky Principal of the year in 1989-90 and elected President of the Kentucky Principal's Association in 1990.
Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Murray, Kentucky, on Tuesday September 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation will be prior to the funeral at First United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Murray State Foundation for the Howie Crittenden Racer Basketball Scholarship and mailed to Murray State University, 106 Development Way, Murray, Kentucky 42071.
J.H. Churchill Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences can be left at www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com
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