Criss Heston, W8CH (SK):
March 24, 2013
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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
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
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
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
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
Honaker Funeral Home in Logan is in charge of
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