Bob Bill McCrary, 65, a true Southern gentleman, a jokester and a dear, sweet, kind man, departed this life Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, headed west into the wild blue yonder.
Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Funeral Home.
Bob was born in Cushing to Grace Sitton and Allen McCrary on July 1, 1948. He played football, baseball and basketball at Cushing High, graduating in 1966. Despite having rheumatic fever his junior year of high school and confined to bed for a year, he still earned a baseball scholarship to Lamar University where he played football as well. Graduating in 1970 with a BBA, he went to work for Arthur Anderson, a CPA firm in Houston. His aviation career started in 1971, joining the U.S. Air Force and completing pilot training in Lubbock at Reese Air Force Base. Capt. Bob spent 10 years in the Air Force, his last three years of service flying his favorite plane, the U-2, out of Beale Air Force Base and around the world.
Bob was extremely patriotic and took his highly classified clearance level seriously. He never spoke about his U2 flying days until last year after PBS aired a special about the spy plane. Bob was the youngest pilot selected to join that elite group. In a T-38, Bob broke the sound barrier twice, yet was content to drive his truck at 5 mph under the speed limit, which could drive you crazy, but you knew he just wanted to be safe!
His post-military flying included Texas International, Muse Air, Trans Star and then Delta Air Lines where he retired in 2007 after 17 years. Because he was so enjoyable to fly with and very professional, both captains and first officers liked flying with Bob. Flight crews appreciated his support, calm demeanor and superior landings.
He was blessed with three wonderful children, Laurie, Stuart and Gracie, his pride and joy. Bob married the love of his life, Anita Kay, on June 16, 1987, enjoying her love and friendship for 26 years. Giving back to the community was important to Bob, who participated in several youth mission trips and delivered Meals On Wheels for three years. Bob's passions, other than his wife and children, were his friends, flying airplanes, horses, bird dogs and Bess, the black Lab. Bob loved living on his ranch on a hill south of Weatherford, where he was often heard to say to Anita, while sitting on the back porch enjoying the view and sunset, "Just another beautiful day in paradise."
Left to cherish so many good times with Bob are his wife, Anita; daughters, Laurie and husband, Ed, and Gracie; son, Stuart; brothers, Sam McCrary and wife, Helen, and Sid McCrary and his life partner, Les Weidner; sisters-in-law, Sandra Lydick and husband, Larry, and Sherry French; and many loving nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who meant so much to him in his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.