Community invited to share memories at celebration of life for 17-year resident

A 17-year resident of Topaz Ranch Estates, Fred Critser, died July 24. His wife of 21 years, Bette has planned a celebration of his life 4-7 p.m. at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Park Building at the end of Carter Way this Saturday. She wants to invite all their friends and family to share with her, their special memories of Fred and his life.

Fred Critser was 73-years-old and, during his time of living in TRE, was a very active member of the community. As a member of the Topaz VFW Post 3060 and the Topaz Sertoma, he spent a lot of time working for both organizations. Bette worked at the Nevada Trading Co./Topaz Joe's but had to give up her job when Fred's illness required her full attention to him.

"He was a Korean War veteran, in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Essex, part of the arresting crew that stops the planes as they land on the deck, he got frostbite and lost a foot." Bette said.

"He was a tremendous artist," Bette said as she talked about his life. "Not only was he a wonderful artist but he had a wonderful sense of humor. He was my best friend, a great father, grandfather and my cherished husband.

"One person I want to mention, a very special person in our lives, is Gene House. He was a friend of ours for 41 years. He was the best man at our wedding. He and his wife Cathy live in Rosamond, Calif., and he will really miss Fred."

Fred's two daughters, Kathy and Darlene were also relating their wonderful memories of their dad of how he taught all the grandchildren how to tell dirty jokes and how much he loved being a grandpa.

One of the things planned for the celebration of Fred's life will be a video presentation that his first grandchild, Marilyn Toole, has created as tribute to the grandfather she loved so much.

"God has freed him from his veil of tears," Bette said. "He will be missed."

n Got golf? Get ready for a great time and help raise money for the Sagehens as well as the TRE Volunteer Fire Department. Plans for The Topaz Joe's Second Not Necessarily Annual Golf Tournament are in full swing. There is plenty of time to put together a team or just enter and they will place you with one. The event will take place Sept. 23, at the Carson Valley Golf Club with a great barbecue and party at Topaz Joe's Grill and Bar after the games. There will be raffle prizes and a grand prize drawing for a brand new set of golf clubs complete with bag and head covers. Any profit from this event will go to our two local organizations so even if you don't want to participate in the game, the purchase of raffle tickets will all go to benefit our community. The cost for the event is $70 per person which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart and the barbecue/party afterwards. Anyone wishing to donate prizes for the raffle or for more information about the event and sign-ups contact the friendly bartender at Topaz Joe's. Stop by or call 266-3208.

n Looking for a fun evening? The Motifs will be playing at Topaz Lodge and Casino Friday and Saturday night. The trio, well known all over Northern Nevada, are frequent performers at the lodge. Playing music ranging from rock 'n' roll to contemporary, a little bit of something to please everyone's taste in music and great for dancing. The highlight of every show is an impressive drum solo by Al Velasquez.

The lodge will also be sponsoring the "Great Gas Give-away!" This promotion is for club card members where winning plays on slots, video poker and table gaming earn you tickets for the drawings. Up to $300 in gas will be given away three times a week. Go to the club card booth near the front entrance of the casino. Sign up for your card, it's free, then play to win.

Topaz Lodge and Casino is also, in conjunction with the Valley Cruisers, sponsoring a Show n' Shine Sept. 16, with cars from 1928 to 1972 on display. Sign-ups for the event will be from 8-10 a.m. with the event running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a bounce house for the children, hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, wine and sodas available for purchase. Music will be provided by well-known D.J. Timewarp with many great prizes to be raffled off.

For more information on these and many other great events happening at Topaz Lodge and Casino call 266-3338.

Until next week: Keep on keepin' on.

n Jonni Hill can be reached through The Record-Courier at or by calling 782-5121, ext. 213, or after hours at


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