Forest Wayne Crigler, Sr.

April 2, 1933 ~ September 13, 2018 (age 85)



                                                    April 2, 1933 – September 13, 2018

Forest Wayne Crigler, 85, of Emerald Isle, NC, died peacefully in his daughter’s home in Pinnacle, NC on September 13, 2018, having evacuated from Hurricane Florence. He was born in Saint Louis, MO on April 2, 1933, the son of the late James Franklin Crigler, Sr. and Ruth Lillian Nichols Crigler. Wayne was a member of the Germanna Foundation near Culpeper, VA. His ancestor, Jacob Crigler, came to America in the Second Germanna Colony in 1717 at present day Criglersville, VA.

Drafted into the US Army during the Korean War in 1953, Wayne was stationed at Fort Monmouth, NJ, where he met the love of his life, Elaine Petrasek of Westfield, NJ. They were married for 63 years.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Elaine, four children, two sisters, Florence Koons and Judy Hawkins, brother-in-law, James Hawkins, all of St. Louis, MO, and sister-in-law, Flo Feltmeier Crigler of St. Petersburg, FL. He was pre-deceased by his parents, his brother, James Franklin Crigler, Jr. and brother-in-law, Rem Koons.

An honor student, Wayne graduated from the University of Missouri in 1961 with a BSEE and Lehigh U (PA) in 1963 with an MSEE. He worked in research at Bell Laboratories in Reading, PA for 22 years. In 1983, he volunteered for Bell Labs’ Aid to Black Colleges program and became a Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at NC A & T State University in Greensboro, NC for 12 years. His gentleness and patience influenced his students to excel. There he worked with Dr. Ron McNair and Dr. Stu Ahrens on the student space shuttle project sending experiments into space including an experimental package aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1994.

He always wanted a large family and was blessed with four children: Elaine (Boo) Dempsey (Jim) of Pinnacle, NC, Cathy Sheaffer (Doug) of Cape Carteret, NC, Forest Wayne Crigler, Jr. (Kelly Kirkpatrick) of Reading, PA, and Jennifer Sternberg (Dexter) of Robinson, TX. He valued education and was pleased that each of his children were college graduates: Boo (Penn State ‘77), Cathy (East Stroudsburg ‘79), Forest (Princeton ’81), and Jennifer (Syracuse U ’83). He was the proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Wayne was an avid athlete, competing in a 1-hour decathlon in his 40’s and playing golf and tennis throughout his life. He shot 2 holes-in-one in his 80’s.

In 1995, Wayne and his wife retired to Emerald Isle where he served on the committee to construct a bike path throughout Emerald Isle. Having lived in Japan in their early years, they enjoyed traveling extensively throughout the world including mission trips to Peru. They are members of St. Mildred’s RC Church in Swansboro, NC. He was a good husband, father, friend, mentor and coach and influenced the lives of all who knew him. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held in Emerald Isle on Thanksgiving weekend.


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