Ernest "Gale" Criswell
Residence: Benson, Arizona ( formerly of Burnettsville, Indiana )
Died: Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Location: At home in Benson, Arizona, with family members around him.
Age: 91
Date of Birth: Sunday, May 02, 1926
Birth place: Salem, Indiana
Branch: Army
Service: World War II
Father: Marcus Lafayette Criswell  
Mother: Ella ( Boling ) Criswell  
Marital Status: Married
Resided in: Gale and his wife Carolyn, have lived in the Burnettsville, Indiana, area most all their lives.
Funeral Date: Monday, June 19, 2017
Funeral Location: 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 19, 2017, Celebration of Life Service at the Miller - Roscka Funeral Home of Monticello, Indiana.
Clergy: Rev. Jason Metzinger of the Pike Creek Church of the Brethren of rural Monticello, Indiana.
Burial will take place: Full Military Rites by the Monticello Veterans Honor Guard of Monticello, Indiana, will be at the Davis Cemetery in rural Burnettsville, Indiana.
Visitation will be: 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, June 18, 2017, at the Miller - Roscka Funeral Home of Monticello, Indiana.
Biographical Information: Born in Salem, Indiana, on May 2, 1926, the 9th of 11 children of Marcus and Ella Criswell, Gale was doing a man’s work on the farm by age 9. He noticed Carolyn E. Harless when he was 15 and she was 13, and set his mind on marrying her. He was a varsity basketball player all four years of high school. Gale was drafted and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944. He served with the 96th Infantry Divisoin as heavy machine gunner and was wounded in combat on Okinawa in the battle for Hacksaw Ridge, earning a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged February 23, 1946. Returning home to Burnettsville, Gale married his sweetheart Carolyn Harless on June 30, 1946. After a short stint on the railroad, Gale began farming. Daughters Cristy and Ella Kathleen and son Kim Alan were born. He bought his family’s farm near Burnettsville in 1956. Gale and Carolyn raised German shepherds and were members of AKC Kennel Club. In 1958, son Casey was born. Casey had asthma, and winters in Indiana were hard on him, so in 1960 they put the farm in the Soil Bank and moved to Benson, Arizona. After work as a truck driver and then doing milk delivery, Gale secured a job at Apache Nitrogen Plant. He studied the chemistry necessary to upgrade and became an anhydrous ammonia plant operator. In his leisure time, Gale participated in Arizona Rangers, hunted javelina and deer, and enjoyed off-roading in his Willys jeep. He taught 4-H livestock judging, driving kids to 4-H events all over southeastern Arizona. In 1966, Gale learned of another anhydrous ammonia plant opening in El Centro, California. He and Carolyn moved there, but they lost their bearings and separated. Divorced, they each married other people. Gale married Rosemary Riggle Elliott, and moved to Alaska to help start the anhydrous ammonia plant in Kenai. Gale fathered another daughter, Eyde. But the love he and Carolyn shared had not died. Divorced by 1972, they sought each other out and remarried. Gale had returned to farming. His fields prospered, and he became a seed corn salesman for Jacques Seeds. Gale could build anything, fix anything, and do anything he set his mind to. When they retired, Gale and Carolyn again began spending winters in Benson. Their lives changed permanently when Gale, at age 89, while picking apples off an 18-foot ladder, fell and broke his back. Other health issues were discovered, and Carolyn decided they should move permanently to Arizona in December 2015.
Special Services: Full Military Rites by the Monticello Veterans Honor Guard of Monticello, Indianna, will be conducted at the Davis Cemetery in rural Burnettsville, Indiana.
Memorial Information: Memorials may be given to the Pike Creek Church of the Brethren of rural Monticello, Indiana. Envelopes will be available here at the funeral home.
Marriage Information: He married Carolyn E. Harless on June 30, 1946, in Burnettsville, Indiana, she survives.
Survivors include:
His Loving Wife of 71 years,
Carolyn E. Criswell of Benson, Arizona (formerly of Burnettsville, Indiana);

Casey (Peggy Butenhoff) Criswell,
Cristy (Dave) Moore,
E. Kathy (Mark) Suagee, and
Eyde (Greg) Williams;

Donna (Bob) Warner;

Richard Moore,
Rachel (Rick) Gabriel,
Dylan (Broinee Beck) Suagee,
Zachary (Gaby Nadrchal) Brennan,
Brandon Criswell,
Britany (Tom) Scogland,
Megan (David) Hefner,
Jasmine (Gene) Tesdahl,
Summer (Andy) Walter,
Tyler (Misty Chapman) Van Meter, and
Teaya (Keyton) Brewer;

Great Grandchildren,
Kimberly, Ryleigh,
Tanner, and

Lyndall Hawkins, and
Joye Shafer;

Boyd Criswell;

Several Nieces, Nephews, and surrogate children.

Preceded in Death:
Marcus Lafayette and Ella (Boling) Criswell;

Kim Alan Criswell;

Heath Devin Moore;

Kenneth Mason, and
Glenn Criswell;

Bethel, and
Arrangements by:
Miller- Roscka Funeral Home, 6368 E. US 24, Monticello, Indiana, 47960 ( 574 ) 583 - 8488.