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Hazel Green Funeral Home
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13921 Hwy 231-431 N
| Hazel Green, AL 35750
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Tel: 256-828-0035
American Patriotic 10

       


Donald Ray Crutcher

July 9, 1935 ~ January 9, 2019 (age 83)

Retired Brigadier General, Donald Ray Crutcher, 83, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 with hospice support. He was the oldest of three children born to Richard O. and Lelon B. Crutcher on July 9, 1935 in Huntsville, Alabama.  Don graduated from Butler High School in 1953 where he played football.  He was named to the 3A All-State Football Team as well as being selected an All-American his senior year. He earned a football scholarship to Auburn University. After one year, he transferred to Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee.  He continued playing football for the Golden Eagles for two years and earned a spot on the Ohio Valley All Conference team.  He also ran the low hurdles as a member of the track team and participated in intramural sports with the men’s softball team.  He graduated in 1957 with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration.  Don returned to his hometown of Huntsville where he lived until his death.  He worked in the aerospace industry for 37 years, first with Boeing, then IBM and finally with Lockheed Martin where he served as Procurement Manager. After 33 years, he retired from Lockheed Martin in August, 1998 at which time he became only the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Don had a second career as a member of the Alabama Army National Guard.  He enlisted in July, 1955 and proudly served for 39 years before retiring in December, 1994.  During his time in the National Guard, he rose from the rank of Private to Brigadier General and commanded the 131st Signal Battalion in Birmingham, the 279th Signal Battalion in Huntsville and the 142nd Signal Brigade in Decatur, Alabama.  During his tenure with the National Guard, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the highest awards given.

While attending Tennessee Tech, he met the love of his life, Bettye Jo Dixon. They married on January 20, 1957 and celebrated 62 years of marriage. They had one son, Donald Scott Crutcher.  Don passed on his love of sports to his son and coached him in the YMCA youth football leagues for several years.  Don was inducted into the Huntsville/Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and was very proud to watch Scott’s induction in 2010.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Richard O. Crutcher and Lelon Brooks Crutcher and his sister, Mary Ann Crutcher Cantrell.

Don is survived by his wife, Bettye Jo Dixon Crutcher, his son, Scott and wife, Marietta Cook Crutcher, his grandson, Colby Ray Crutcher, brother, Richard O. Crutcher, Jr. and several nieces, nephews and cousins.  Those who knew Don always remarked what a kind, compassionate and loyal man he was.  He led others by example and never asked anyone to do anything that he would not do himself.  He was selfless in his devotion to his family and always put others before himself.  He told everyone his most treasured activity was watching his grandson, Colby Ray, grow up, play sports through the rec leagues, travel ball, middle school, high school and college while achieving academic success in school.  Don was lovingly known as Poppy, the name given to him by Colby at a very young age.

Arrangements are being handled by the Hazel Green Funeral Home.  The family will receive friends at the visitation on Sunday, January 13, 2019 from 5:00 to 8:00. The funeral will take place on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 1:00 at the funeral home.  Burial will follow in Huntsville Memory Gardens with full military honors.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Alacare Hospice and Home Instead Senior Care for the care they provided to our husband, father, grandfather and brother. We are forever thankful for the kindness and love you showed our Poppy.

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