Cover photo for Richard Lee Crites's Obituary
1968 Richard 2024

Richard Lee Crites

October 5, 1968 — February 18, 2024

In Loving Memory

Richard Lee Crites

Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Pawpaw

October 5, 1968 – February 18, 2024


Richard was welcomed home by his dear Mama as the snow came down Sunday morning. 

He had a unique set of gifts and skills honed over a lifetime of hard work, hard living and hard-won joy which endeared him to many. An avid car enthusiast and Master Mechanic, Richard could often be found under a chassis or hood, helping out friends, neighbors and strangers alike. A natural comedian and class clown, his (often) irreverent sense of humor could draw a smile from the most determined grump. He loved making people laugh and would count it a personal victory when one of his wisecracks landed just right. Richard was a determined man when he had his mind set on something, whether trading one car in for four (one of his favorite stories), or going camping despite debilitating health challenges, it was going to happen his way. This bull-headed determination was one of Richard’s most endearing, and most exasperating, qualities. Although he often put forward a gruff exterior, those who knew him best knew him to be a deeply devoted and loving man, an endlessly loyal friend, a tender and loving husband, a patient and kind father, crazy brother, and a true disciple of Jesus Christ. 

His passing, as his beloved Carol wrote, “has left a Richard-sized hole” in all our lives. To quote one of his favorite songs, “I’ve seen your face a hundred times every day we’ve been apart. I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah ‘Cause Mama (he’s) coming home.” (Mama I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Osbourne) 

Richard was preceded in death by his beloved Mother, Patsy Ann (Reed) Crites, his Father, Bobby Joe Crites, Brother-in-law Casey McClain, Niece, Elizabeth McClain, and beloved Grandparents, Paul (Doris) Reed, Bob (Lily and Jean) Crites. Beloved friends, Denton and Anna Grange, Curt McClain.

He is survived by his dear wife, Carol (Lesh) Crites, and their seven children: Matthew Bradley Fortney of Pilot Point, TX, Christopher Cody Bristol of Idaho Falls, Alexandria Nicole (Crites) and Kyle Edson of Idaho Falls, Alexander Ryan Fortney of Howe, TX, Patty (Nat) Smith of Pocatello, Robert Joseph Fortney of Texarkana, TX and Timothy James Crites of Shelley; Five grandchildren, Lilliauna & Remington Edson of Idaho Falls, and Amelia, Evelyn, & Marius Fortney of Howe, TX. 

He is also survived by his sister, Rebecca (Becky) Ann (Crites) McClain and nephew, Caleb Lee McClain of Hitchcock, TX, brother, Jon Edward (Valerie) Crites of Columbia, SC, brother, Steven Ray (Jennifer) Crites, and nephew, Charles Bailey Crites of Aledo, TX. Uncle, Michael (Janice) Reed and cousins Emily & Abigail Reed of Deland, FL, Uncle, Alfred (Betty) Reed of Huntsville, AL, cousins Robert (Sheri) Holly Springs, NC; Amy, and Greg (Joan) of Huntsville, AL; Aunt Sherri (Frank) Strother, of Highland, IL; cousins Teri (Craig) Brock of Melissa, TX; & Loren Reed of Sherman, TX; cousin, Rita Berkley of Howe, TX; and numerous cousins. 

Carol’s family: In-laws, John Melvin (Betty Jo) Massey of Texarkana, TX, Sisters-in-law Linda Diane Lesh (deceased), and Vicki Maryann (Patrick) Thomas, along with children Gary Alan Chaney, Tanner Hunter Rudasill, Jennifer Thomas and Brandon Thomas of Atlanta, GA, Cindy Jo (Barry) Schwiesow, and children Erin and Mark Schwiesow of Tulsa, OK, brothers-in-law, Michael David Lesh of Oregon, and David John Lesh (deceased), sisters-in-law, Sharon Louise (John) Tallet of Atlanta, GA, sister-in-law, Iris Kathleen Lesh of Bowie, MD, brother-in-law, John Patrick (Meredith) Massey and children Penny and Baby Massey of Texarkana, TX.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 at Shelley Fourth Ward Chapel, 184 N. Park Ave. Shelley, ID. Burial will be on July 5, Rondo Cemetery, Texarkana, Arkansas.

Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at

Meeting ID: 438 603 8885
Passcode: 685918


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Saturday, February 24, 2024

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