LOGAN, W.Va. — Criss Heston, 61, of Logan, departed this life Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Logan Regional Medical Center.
Born May 19, 1951, at Clarksburg, he was a son of Glenda Phillips Laska and the late Paul Heston.
Criss was a former radio officer with the Merchant Marines, a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict from 1967-1969, he was a member of the Apache Motorcycle Club.
From his home on Garrett Fork, Criss did his part in helping keep Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony safe. He was recently appointed to the post of National Digital Training Coordinator for Air Force MARS, (Military Affiliate Radio Stations).
Air Force MARS is a Department of Defense sponsored agency consisting of amateur radio (HAM radio) station operators that provide auxiliary and emergency communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. They provide communications when FEMA is activated and are a part of the National Communications System, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security. When President Bush declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C. for the inauguration, FEMA was activated and Criss was a part of the Presidential inauguration security communications network from his radio station at his home on Garrett Fork.
Criss holds a commercial radio officer’s license and has also worked with SHARES, a national communications system. SHARES was created by an executive order from President John F. Kennedy in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis. Reagan expanded its scope. When the Bush administration formed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), SHARES was one of 22 agencies transferred to the DHS.
He monitored the air waves during Hurricane Katrina and the 9-11 emergency in New York. On one occasion, Criss picked up the emergency transmissions of a sinking ship in the Gulf of Mexico. He notified the U.S. Coast Guard and the crew of the ill-fated ship was rescued.
In addition to his mother, Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Dr. Lisa Haddox Heston; step-father, Alex Laska; sisters, Janet Heston of Fairmont and Nora Heston of Raleigh, N.C.; brothers-in-law, Dr. David Haddox and (Marsha McCallister) and Dr. Chris Haddox and (Susan Eason), and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A Celebration of Life for Criss will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the First Presbyterian Church in Logan with Pastor Doug Craven officiating.
The family asks that if you wish to make a contribution in lieu of flowers to please remember the American Cancer Society of America, or Child Fund International.
Condolence may be left at www.honakerfuneralhome.org
Honaker Funeral Home in Logan is in charge of his services.