T.K. Criswell, 89, of Plainview, and formerly of Anton, died Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 at his home, after a lengthy illness. Funeral services were held Friday afternoon, Nov. 22, at Plainview’s First United Methodist Church, with Dr. Max Browning and Rev. Jeff Taylor, officiating. Burial was in Plainview Memorial Park, with Kornerstone Funeral Directors of Plainview in charge of arrangements. Criswell grew up in Anton, the oldest of E.D. and Purney Criswell’s four children. After graduating from Anton High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and served a full tour of duty on the cruiser class ship New Orleans, which was involved in most of the primary battles in the Pacific Theater of World War II. After returning to Anton after the war, he was elected as Mayor of Anton. He served six months and organized the installation of the town’s first sanitary sewer system. He resigned as mayor and enrolled as a freshman at Texas Tech University. After transferring to Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, he met Nelda Rankin, and they were married in 1948. He worked many years as a farmer, entomologist and agribusines man, retiring from his own company, Criswell Cotton. He was a life-long Methodist, and was active in First United Methodist of Plainview for several decades. He was also a local philanthropist, supporting everything in the community from 4-H to youth baseball. Preceding him in death was a son, Rick, in 1973. Surviving are his three sons, Randi, Sam and Reed; three grandchildren, Chance and Ry Webster of Lubbock, and Conor Criswell of Creedmoor, N.C.; and by a brother, Stanley Criswell of Lubbock.
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