Wife of deceased Columbia search crew member remembers his life
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin family continues to mourn the death of a loved one whose life was tragically taken ten years ago while searching for debris left over from the Columbia Space Shuttle crash.
Charles Krenek was fishing with his cousin when they heard the big boom.
"My husband had been on a rescue team with the city working with the forest service and he would be called to some sort of rescue. He didn't know what had happened. So he came home early from fishing and he told me that you know he was fixing to be called somewhere and the call came and that's when we found out about Columbia crashing," Charlotte Krenek said.
Charles was a forest technician at the highest technician level in the Texas Forest Service. Charles searched for months around East Texas for debris with helicopter pilot Jules "Buzz" Mier. During the search, their helicopter lost engine power crashing to the ground near Broaddus. Charles and Buzz were killed instantly.
"One of my friends from church came and got me from the Burke Center and she didn't really tell me what had happened and I got to my house and there were people all in the yard and then my mom was in the yard and she told me that my husband had died," Charlotte Krenek said.
Charlotte says Charles was the love of her live and his death was absolutely devastating.
"I knew I had to get peace. My pastor was there from First Assembly and we prayed. There were a few people in my house. We just had a little prayer meeting until I felt the peace of God and I knew that God was going to be helping me out a lot from that day on," Charlotte Krenek said.
Charlotte said she has never gotten over her husband's death, but fills her time thinking about the good times they shared.
“One of our favorite days together we went wading in a creek by our house. He had brought some rubber boots home in the back of the truck there were a pair of his friends that were really big but we put those on. We had a good day just wading together,” Charlotte Krenek said.