At the NTA convention last week, I was saddened to learn of Audie Crabtree's passing earlier this month.
Audrey E. Crabtree of Citrus Heights, California, known to all his friends as Audie, died on July 11, 2015, at the age of 88. He was born in St. Francis, Kansas. He was a Veteran of both WWII and the Korean War. He retired from McClellan AFB in 1981, and was the Founder of Crabtree's Taxidermy which he operated for over 50 years. He was an avid sportsman, big game hunter and loved the great outdoors. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Lou Crabtree, who served many years on the Board of Directors of the National Taxidermists Association. The photo above was made in 2002 at the NTA Convention in Columbia, Missouri.
Three years ago, Audie was a part of one of the most moving tributes at the 2012 NTA awards banquet in Rogers, Arkansas. Audie Crabtree (assisted by John Janelli) joined other WWII and Korean War veterans Bill Haynes and William Hale to present the colors. These heroes, the last surviving members of the Greatest Generation, lead the crowd of 200-plus in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner and received a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation.
See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?n=audrey-e-crabtree&pid=175301117&fhid=6330#sthash.PKwTrTGP.dpuf