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William P. (Bill) Crittenden, 89, of Afton passed away on February 6, 2022, at Creston Specialty Care in Creston. Celebration of Life services will be 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 10, 2022, at Powers Funeral Home in Afton. Reverend Jim Morris and Randy Goerndt will officiate the service. Services will be livestreamed with the link available at under Bill’s obituary in the events section. Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Afton, IA with full military honors by the Creston Theodore J. Martens VFW Post #1797. Open visitation will be held at Powers Funeral Home in Afton from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 9, 2022, with family receiving friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to East Union Dollars for Scholars, Afton United Methodist Church and Eric Crittenden Memorial Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be made at
William P. Crittenden was born Oct. 9, 1932, to Wayne and Lois (Booth) Crittenden at home in Union County south of Thayer, the second of three sons from this union. Bill attended country schools Sand Creek #4 and Pleasant #4 and graduated from Arispe High School in 1951. Following graduation Bill helped his father on the farm and worked for Smith Concrete before enlisting in the United States Air Force in May 1952.
In the Air Force Bill took basic training at Parks Air Force Base in Oakland CA. He also completed Radio and Radar School and aerial gunnery training on B-29s at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO. He was then transferred to a Heavy Bomber Base with B-36s for tail gunner training and spent the rest of his enlistment as part of the flight crew as a tail gunner on B-36s at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, TX.
On June 25, 1954, Bill was united in marriage to Betty (Nissen) at Fort Worth, TX. To this union two sons were born, Jack and Steve. In May 1956, Bill received his honorable discharge from the Air Force and in December 1956, Bill, Betty and Jack returned to Union County and began farming in the Afton and Arispe area. Bill retired from farming in 1994 and they moved to their new house just west of Afton. Betty was diagnosed with MS in 1985 and the new home was built to accommodate Betty’s declining health. You could find Bill and Betty out and about in the community going to church, school activities and eating out with their friends. Bill cared for Betty day and night for many years. They always appreciated the patience and help from people as they were out and about going to activities in the community. In retirement Bill enjoyed golfing with his buddies on the Southwest Iowa Senior Golfers tour. He also kept busy by continuing to take care of his farms by cutting trees and thistles and continuing to improve his farms by tiling and terracing them. Bill believed in working hard and believed part of a person’s value was whether or not they were a hard worker as he prided himself for all of his hard work. Taking care of the land and his livestock was very important to Bill. He particularly liked his cattle. One of Bill’s favorite awards that he was most proud of was the Union County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame Award that he received in 2019.
Bill was also active in the community serving for many years on the East Union School Board and the Afton Farmers Coop Board, also the Selective Service board, a township clerk, a Union County Fair 4-H Beef committee member, a member of the Afton Care Center Board, a member of the Afton VFW, held offices at the Afton United Methodist Church and was a 50-year member of the Afton Masonic Lodge among other community activities.
Left to cherish Bill’s memory are his sons, Jack (Cecy) Crittenden and their niece, Sharon, of Phoenix, AZ., son, Steve Crittenden of Afton and Barb Crittenden of Creston and their daughter, Kayli Crittenden, (fiancé, Blake Lacina) of Creston, his grandson, Chad (Brenda) Mahan, and their daughters, Kendra and Josie, of Creston, his brother, Bob (Alice) Crittenden, of Afton and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Betty in 2020, his grandson, Eric Crittenden, in 2006, his parents, Wayne and Lois Crittenden, brother and sister-in-law, Gerald (Sally) Crittenden, niece, Kathy Crittenden, and Betty’s sisters. Marjorie Selim, Mary Ann Tolosko and Shirley Wilgus.

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