The Norman Transcript

March 15, 2014

Tearle ‘Terry’ Bruce Kring

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tearle “Terry” Bruce Kring, 88, of Norman, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday, March 13, 2014, surrounded by his family. Visitation for Terry will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday with family receiving friends at Havenbrook Funeral Home, 3401 Havenbrook St. in Norman. A celebration of Terry’s life will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel. Interment will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, with full military honors.

Tearle was born Aug. 18, 1925, in Wirt, and spent his early years in and around the Texas panhandle and New Mexico area. He graduated from Lovington High School, N.M. in 1943. He received his first commission as an Army Air Corp Cadet and earned his wings in 1943. He then went on to acquire his Bachelor of Science in petroleum geology at the University of Oklahoma in 1950.

In 1951 he met and married Ramona Mae Crawford of Seminole. Following his love of flying, Tearle returned to the military. He was a career pilot for 25 years. He served tours in the United States and abroad. Most notably he served as crew chief for B-52 airborne alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the Vietnam conflict, he spent four years providing leadership to operations involving ground reconnaissance. He was awarded numerous commendations and citations.

Upon retirement from the Air Force, Tearle utilized his first degree to enjoy a successful career as a consulting geologist in the Oklahoma oil fields. Due to his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he obtained his master’s degree in education from Central State University in 1983, which led to a third career in family counseling while living in Litchfield Park, Ariz.

To his family and friends, Tearle was a consummate storyteller who could hold a room captive with his wit and candor. During his retirement he loved his work as a docent for the Sam Noble Natural History Museum in the “ancient life” room. He was one of the longest serving docents having accrued over 2,000 hours through commitment and service.

He was preceded in death by his father, Kyle Knight Kring; mother, Dorothy Jean (Caldwell) Born; and son, Kevin Bruce Kring.

Tearle is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ramona Mae (Crawford) Kring; daughters Terena Mae Kring of Nebraska, Tris Anne Downer (Bruce) of Colorado; son Kyle Knight Kring II (Cristina) of Norman; grandchildren Hunter Knight Kring, Taylor McKenzie Kring, Anne Marie Rivas, Tess Alexandria Downer and Brooke Celeste Downer; great-grandchild Connor Knight Kring; and his beloved Westie’s, Abbie and Cassie.

Terry had an infectious enthusiasm for life, and for all those who knew him, he leaves a legacy built on integrity, loyalty and love. He will be missed but not forgotten.

Given Tearle’s lifelong philanthropic example, the family asks you to choose the charity which speaks to your heart and contribute in Tearle’s memory.

Arrangements for Tearle and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman. Online condolences may be shared at

Norman Transcript, Saturday, March 15, 2014

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