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Charles Ray Crary

1941 - 2023


Charles Ray Crary died peacefully on Thursday, January 6 at his home in McKenzie, Tenn. A memorial service for Mr. Crary is Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 11 a.m. The family will receive friends 10:00 a.m. until service time at Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home.

Charles was born on July 4, 1941 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He graduated from Gerstmeyer High School in 1958 as a member of the National Honor Society.  He attended Lincoln Bible Institute in Lincoln, Illinois and Minnesota Bible College in Minneapolis, Minn.   While there, he worked at Gray’s Drug store in Dinkytown and met his future wife, Kathleen Atchison, who worked across the street at Bridgeman’s Ice Cream shop.

Charles enlisted in the Air Force in July 1965 and was stationed at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana.  He married Kathleen on September 3, 1966 in LaCrosse WI. Charles’ last two years of duty were at Alconbury Air Force base in Alconbury England. After discharge, he attended Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Charles and Kathleen lived in several places including Wausau, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, where he was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration as an aviation safety inspector until he retired. His marriage ended in 2003 and he moved to Camden, Tenn.  He later moved to McKenzie and was a member of the First Baptist Church.

He loved dogs, especially his current dog, Rusty who he spoke to like a good friend. He was very handy and could fix anything and enjoyed flying his drone.  He loved anything related to airplanes and astronomy and was always learning something new. He recently spent many hours studying for and passing his test to receive his Ham Radio license.  

Charles is survived by his sister, Wilma Hastings (Larry), his ex-wife, Kathleen Crary, his three children, Karen Smith (Daniel), Kevin Crary (Amy) and Margaret Collins (Jeffery) and grandchildren, Kayleigh Woller (Josiah), Aaron Smith, Cassandra Smith, Alyssa Smith, Julia Crary, Victoria Crary, Emily DeBoer (Ben), Maquanet Collins, Joshua Collins (Christina), Mitike Collins, Bete Collins, Tyler Collins, Paige Collins, Silas Collins, great-grandchildren Zorah Woller and Elianah Woller and several nieces and nephews.  

Charles was preceded in death by his sister, Rhonda Harrison (Charlie), brother, Gil Crary (Nancy) and his parents, Lucile and William Crary.

A memorial for Mr Crary will be announced soon.

Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home, McKenzie, Tenn.