David Ray Chrisman, 92, of Columbia, passed away Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at Solstice Senior Living.

David was born in Hallsville, Missouri, to Kenneth and Gertrude Chrisman on Feb. 10, 1927. He joined the Navy in 1945, and returned to Centralia, Missouri, on leave to marry his high school sweetheart, Helen Lucille Duren. They were married for more than 50 years with 20 of those years as a Navy family with their children Bill, Dale and Lori.

When he wasn’t land-based with his family in places such as Yokohama, Japan, or San Diego, he was assigned duty on ships in the Pacific. In one of his Pacific assignments, he witnessed the testing of a couple of hydrogen bombs and was asked, after one test, to suit up and retrieve a typewriter off the island where the bomb had been detonated.

After retiring from the Navy in 1965, he and the family returned to Columbia to begin civilian life. David was briefly in the insurance business, had an Amway distributorship, went into the Chrisman Duraclean business with his father and then the upholstery business. He completely retired in the late 1970s and he and Lucille sold the family home on Brown Station Road, which was still vibrating from many of his sons’, Dale and Bill, Coachmen band practices, and moved into Creekwood Estates, traveling and camping in their fifth wheel trailer whenever they could.

After Lucille’s death in 2003, David became very active in local groups and organizations. He volunteered at the local food bank, went in every Thursday at University of Missouri hospital to assist in moving veterans to different areas, sang in the First Christian Church choir, was a Woodmen of the World lodge member and officer, and continued his fifty-plus-year Masonic lodge involvement.

David is survived by his son, Bill, and his daughter, Lori. His grandchildren are Camaryn (St. Louis), Kate (Washington, D.C.), Douglas (Omaha), and Gregory (Denver). His great grandchildren are Dory and Joey (St. Louis). His son, Dale, preceded him in death in 2016.

Anyone who knew David would attest to his kind and gentle manner and, maybe, above all, his sense of humor. He would often turn to the person behind him in a checkout line and tell them one of his favorite jokes or pose one of his puzzling questions. Through his humor, he endeared himself to all he met.

In the words of David Ray, “Is it colder here or in the winter?”

May our love for you reach up into Heaven.

We walk in your shadow.

Friends will be received from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at the Parker-Millard Funeral Service with a funeral service to be held at 3 p.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service and Crematory; 12 East Ash Street, Columbia, Missouri, 65203; (573) 449-4153 Condolences may be left online for the family at www.parkermillard.com

  • I'm an assistant city editor. This is my junior year at MU, where I study investigative reporting and political science. Interests include local journalism, breakfast food and good books. Email cectx9@mail.missouri.edu with any story tips.

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