Elyse  Crites


Funeral services honoring and remembering Mrs. Elyse (Culp) Crites are scheduled for 11:00A.M., Monday, July 1, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church of Claremore with Dr. Ray Crawford officiating and interment to follow at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Claremore. Mrs. Crites passed away Tuesday, June 25th in Claremore, she was 75.
Mrs. Crites was born May 4, 1944 in Moreland, Oklahoma, the daughter of Dillyn and Nadine Culp, and was raised on a farm just across the county line in Major County. She attended a one-room country school until the fourth grade when her family moved to Enid, Oklahoma. After graduating from Enid High School in 1961 she attended Phillips University and earned her bachelor's degree in English Education.
On August 29, 1964 she married Stanley Crites, a young man who had tortured her in a Senior High study hall and won her over during their college years.
Elyse began her teaching career in Glencoe, Oklahoma, where she was the English teacher for the 7th through the 12th grades, the school librarian, the Spanish teacher, and was responsible for all assemblies. One of these assemblies: a Christmas program was the debut performance of Steve Ripley. She taught at the Santa Fe Jr. High School in Newton Kansas for a time, and earned her Master's degree in secondary reading from Emporia State.
In 1971 the couple moved to Atlanta, GA and Elyse began to teach at the Lithonia High School. There she created a reading lab that was so successful, that it was expanded to all 26 high schools in Dekalb County and was given the position of secondary reading coordinator for Dekalb county. At that time, she earned her Specialist's degree in secondary reading from the University of Georgia.
After working in administration for several years, she wanted to teach again and accepted the only position available at Dunwoody High School. While there she designed a program that got all her students the test scores that would allow them to attend the colleges and universities of their choice and earned her Teacher of the Year. The work that was involved in this took quite a toll on Elyse and she took some time away from teaching. After her sabbatical she began teaching English as a second language at Cross Keys High School to students from 66 different nationalities, maintaining her sense of humor.
In 1999 Elyse retired from teaching and moved back to Oklahoma to take care of her aging parents. Always a dutiful daughter: she visited them every day and later gave the same care to her father-in-law as he neared the end of his life.
Elyse will be remembered for being an amazing gracious lady, and talented teacher who was overqualified and over prepared for everything she did and who had a knack for understanding what would make each student receptive to learning, and an avid kitty lover.
Elyse Crites is survived by her husband: Stanley Crites of Claremore; one sister: Molly Puffhal and her husband Terry of Oklahoma City; cousins: Kathy Foust of Enid, J.L. Johnson of Woodward County, OK, and Deborah Buttrom, of Edmond, OK.
In lieu of flowers, it was Elyse's wish that donations be made in her honor to the school supply fund of the First United Methodist Church of Claremore 1615 N. Hwy 88, Claremore, OK 74017.
To plant a tree in memory of Elyse Crites, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on June 28, 2019
Plant a tree in memory
of Elyse
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on September 26, 2019.

2 posts

David & Kathy Eck
Jul 10, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this sad time. Her obituary was so uplifting to read about the special lady that she was.
Your classmate, David and wife Kathy
Deborah Johnson Buttrum
Jun 29, 2019
Elyse was the bright, shining star of our family. She was kind, caring, full of laughter and for all the children she taught the touch they needed.🙏💕