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Ted Kritikos

1927-2020

Ted was born on December 19, 1927 at home, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of four sons, to Greek immigrants, Zoe Vasileou Ballios and Theodore Nicholas Kritikos. After graduating from Central High School in Tulsa in 1945, he followed his beloved older brother Bill to the University of Oklahoma to study civil engineering. His studies were soon interrupted as he was called on to serve his country in the Army as a paratrooper in occupied Japan after World War II. Ted then returned to OU, where he met his future wife, Beatrice Joan “BeJo” Harvey, and earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. Ted and BeJo were married before he was off again to serve his country during the Korean War as an officer in the 578th Engineer Combat Battalion, “C” Company. After the war, Ted commenced his long and illustrious career in the oil and gas industry.

Ted spent his early career working for Standard Oil of California, which brought him and BeJo to Louisiana in the early 1950s. In 1962, Ted joined forces with fellow engineer, John W. Owensby, to found Owensby & Kritikos, Inc., which provided inspection, testing, and engineering services for the oil and gas industry. Over the years, Ted co-founded several other companies, generally in the oil and gas industry, including Petro-Marine Engineering, TEST (Total Engineering Services Team), Production Management, Geotec Engineering, Worknet Five Hundred, Datec, and P.M. Engineering, with offices in Gretna and Lafayette, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Grand Junction, Colorado; Anchorage, Alaska; London, England; and Copenhagen, Denmark. In achieving the “American Dream,” he found his greatest rewards in providing livelihoods for and mentoring others while fulfilling his deep desire to provide for his family.

Due to Ted’s work, Ted and BeJo first lived in Venice, Louisiana and later moved to the New Orleans area. They raised their family in Algiers and spent their later years residing in Metairie. Most recently, Ted lived with his daughter Nicole and her family in New Orleans. Having spent the majority of his life in Louisiana, Ted loved its culture and customs and was proud to call Louisiana home.

Ted was known to always offer a listening ear and encouraging advice, not only to his family and friends, but also to countless employees and young men and women whom he mentored. Many lives have been profoundly affected by Ted’s time, compassion, and wisdom. He inspired his family and those around him to be the best they could be and reach for their dreams. He captivated others with his wonderful sense of humor, magnetic personality, entertaining stories, and wise and quippy sayings. When asked how he was doing, he was often known to reply, “I’m gonna make it; got to! Got no choice.” When asked, “What’s up?” he’d respond, “The rent. Every day.” Playfully self-deprecating, he would tease, “I’ve been on a diet for years, hasn’t bothered me a bit.” On a serious note, he always told his children, “Family is most important” and “Travel is the best education.” Ted loved to travel, visiting many countries over the years, always returning with interesting stories. He often stated to his children and grandchildren that it made him even more appreciative of the United States. Ted loved this country and was a firm believer that we live in the greatest country in the world, a land of opportunity.

Ted loved life, people, and good food. He had a smile that could light up a room and a natural talent for connecting with others. He truly enjoyed cultivating lifelong friendships. So many could call Ted their friend, and a good one at that. He kept his social calendar full and his friends close. One of his favorite things was to invite his friends and colleagues to lunch, and he looked forward to trying out new restaurants in the city with them. He was a good cook and enjoyed being in the kitchen with family, especially during the holidays. He also loved beach vacations with his grandchildren to Perdido Key, Florida. Those times are such special memories his family holds dear.

Ted was an avid tennis player and was fortunate to play until nearly 90 years old. He was involved in several bowling leagues over the years and enjoyed sailing on Lake Pontchartrain. One of his favorite pastimes was watching the Saints and OU Sooner football games, offering his commentary to all those within earshot. He attended the Saints’ first football game in 1967 and was a lifelong season ticket holder.

A passionate supporter of his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, Ted established and endowed both the Ted Kritikos Endowed Scholarship, a scholarship program for aspiring civil engineers, and the Ted A. Kritikos Professorship in Civil Engineering and Environmental Science. He served on the university’s Visiting Council of the Civil Engineering School and was a member of the Gallogly College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society. He enjoyed serving on the board of the Jefferson Guaranty Bank and was a member of the Harvey Canal Industrial Association, the American Society for Non-Destructive Testing, and the American Society of Testing Materials.

Ted is survived by his wife, Beatrice “BeJo” Joan Harvey Kritikos, and their four children: Lisa Kritikos of New Orleans, Louisiana; Gina Kritikos Burnett (Keith) of Nashville, Tennessee; Theodore “Ted” Harvey Kritikos (Marcia) of Hendersonville, Tennessee; and Nicole Kritikos Provosty (Pratt) of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren: Cameron, Kyle, and Zoe Burnett; David, Amanda, and Andrew Kritikos; and Alexandre and Nicholas Provosty. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Jacqueline “Jac” Clark Kritikos, his nephews William Kritikos (Anu), Gary Kritikos (Amy), and Kurt Kritikos; nephews and nieces: Kathy Byrd, Julie Bricken (Brian), Brenda Maroney, Kelly McGuire, and Kyle McGuire (Linda); great nephew and nieces: Bill, Cari, Lisa, Anna, Sarah, Cara, Zoe, Cassie, and Delia Kritikos and Jamie Maroney. Ted was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers, William “Bill” Kritikos, Nicholas “Nick” Kritikos, and George Kritikos, and sister-in-law Barbara Carroll.

Due to Covid-19 limitations for gatherings, a private family funeral service will be held on September 26, 2020 at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home. However, his family and friends will celebrate his life and legacy with a big party, as he requested, when it is safe to do so.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to the Ted Kritikos Endowed Scholarship at the University of Oklahoma. Checks may be made to the OU Foundation with the fund name on the memo line and mailed to PO Box 258856 Oklahoma City, OK 73125-8856 or online at link.ou.edu/kritikos.

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