PORT TOWNSEND - Christal Ann Crockett Ericksen, 67, died July 24 at her home in Port Townsend, WA. She was born Jan. 3, 1948, in Skowhegan, ME, to Leroy and Agnes (Fitzmaurice) Crockett. She attended schools in Wilton, ME, graduating Valedictorian from Wilton Academy in 1967.
Christal had a lifelong wanderlust and desire to experience other cultures. In her twenties, she flew to Europe with $200 and a backpack. For the next two years, she made her way around the world. Before returning to Maine, she spent six months at a kibbutz in Israel. Thirty years later, she would visit that kibbutz, reconnecting with people she worked with so long ago.
Christal eventually circumnavigated the globe twice, visiting some 75 countries and all continents except Antarctica. Her home was filled with mementos and photographs from her travels. She sent postcards and gifts to her family and friends so they could share her extraordinary experiences.
In 1980, she settled in Port Townsend, realizing her dream of living in the Pacific Northwest. She loved to sip coffee at her kitchen table, enjoying the beautiful view of Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier.
A talented and creative photographer, Christal captured her travel experiences on film. Her wry humor and eye for detail made her pictures memorablea tiny kitten in a cottage window, the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, the curious name of a quaint Irish pub, the deeply tanned face of a Bedouin against pale desert sand. Photography was her passion, and for twenty years, it was also her profession. Many of her photographs lined the walls of her shop, A-1 Hour Photo, where she did custom film processing, graduation portraits, and wedding photographs before retiring in 2012.
Christal had a soft spot for animals and always had a cat or two to snuggle with when reading or watching TV. She was a voracious reader with an extensive book collection. That love of reading made her a formidable Scrabble player.
Christal is survived by her son Lonnie White, his wife Cindy, and their daughters Hayley and Erin of Lamoine, ME; sisters Paula Crockett (Martin Gibbins) of Carnation, WA, and Joy Crockett of Wilton; several aunts and uncles (Eleanor Robinson of Bangor, Dora and William Chase of Winston-Salem, NC, Patrick and Loretta Fitzmaurice of Skowhegan, Michael and Harriet Fitzmaurice of Bowdoinham, Lillian Maberry of Freeport, and Francis and Sadie Fitzmaurice of King, NC); many cousins; former spouses Brian White (Erna) of Jay, and Ralph Ericksen of Port Townsend, WA; step-daughters Brenda Ericksen Padilla (Vicente) of Malaga, Spain, Jodi Ericksen Sarti (David) of Seattle, WA, and Veronica Smith Benson of Washington, VA; and several step-grandchildren. She also leaves her dearest friends Eileen Adams and Wayne Dimond, both of Wilton, and her beloved cat Thelma.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents Cecil and Betty Crockett and Frank and Barbara Fitzmaurice, several aunts, uncles, and cousins, former spouse Ron Smith, and step-daughter Lisa Ericksen.
A gathering to celebrate Christal's life will take place at the East Wilton Grange Hall on Sun., Aug. 16 from 2-4 PM. There will also be a gathering in Port Townsend, WA, on Fri., Aug. 7. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to the charity of your choice.