Mississippi State loses a legend "Jack" Cristil

STARKVILLE, MS (WLOX) - For 58 years Cristil was the play-by-play announcer for 636 Mississippi State games. He also did basketball and baseball.

On Thursday at 6 p.m. Mississippi State will host a public memorial service honoring Cristil in Humphrey Coliseum.

He was a native of Memphis, and studied broadcast journalism at the University of Minnesota after World War II.

His voice was special.

When Cristil retired in 2011 he said,"Some schools want you to be very factual, play it down the middle of the road. Others want you to be a cheerleader and you do what your boss wants you to do.  So if Mississippi State wanted me to be a cheerleader I would put on a cheerleader outfit and I would be a cheerleader, but they never asked me to do that."

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said at Monday's news conference,"Let me start with sending our condolences out to Jack Cristil's family. I know that's a huge loss for everybody at Mississippi State with its history and all that he had done. He called 636 games. That's an awful long time. I think so many memories of people and Bulldogs, when that stuff happens people everywhere will have their memories of him and his moments and all the things he has done. He was an institution at this university. Bulldogs everywhere have a heavy heart today with his passing. He will be remembered by everybody. That's a Bulldog forever. Our condolences and our prayers with his family. It's a big loss for all of us."

Funeral services for Jack Cristil will be held Wednesday morning at 11 at Holland Funeral Directors in Tupelo.  Interment will follow at Lee Memorial Park in Verona.

Visitation is set for Tuesday from 4 till 8 p.m. and Wednesday morning from 9 till 11.

When Mississippi State posted a win he always said,"You can wrap this one up in Maroon and White my friends."

Jack Cristil was a friend, a professional and he will be missed by all who knew him and those who listened to him on the radio.

He is survived by daughters Kay Cristil Clouatre of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Rebecca Cristil Nelson of Tupelo and two grandchildren.  He is also survived by two sisters and a number of nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the Cristil family requests donations to either of the Cristil scholarships at Mississippi State, the Girls Scouts Heart of the South, Temple B'Nai Israel in Tupelo or Sanctuary Hospice House.

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