Joseph Gibb Kriss, 94, of Byron, MN, died Monday, May 16, 2011, in Rochester, MN.
Joseph Kriss was born June 1, 1916, in Pittsburgh, PA, where he was raised and educated. After attending Carnegie Tech, Joe worked as an engineer at KQV radio station in Pittsburgh.
In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, Joe joined the Army Air Force and was stationed in Big Springs and Midland, Texas, where he trained bombardiers. In April 1944, he went overseas with the 8th Air Force at Deopham Green, England. As a B-17 bombardier, he flew 30 missions over Germany; 15 missions as lead bombardier. He was awarded the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, for exceptional bombing ability over Berlin, Germany. In the spring of 1945, Captain Kriss returned to Eglin Field, FL, where he was later discharged.
He was a member of the Mighty 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and the 8th Air Force 452nd Bomb Group.
After WWII he returned to his job at KQV. In July 1946, he went to work in Washington, DC, for WRC television. In those early days of television, he worked several different jobs from cameraman to video engineer. He also spent time at the White House and met Presidents Truman through Carter.
In 1947, he married Barbara Alexander, and they raised their four children. After 33 years with NBC, they retired to Rochester, MN, where Barbara passed away in 1984.
In 1985 he married Elaine Wangen. They traveled from coast to coast visiting their children and attending his 8th Air Force Bomb Group reunions. They moved to Byron, where they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last year.
He is survived by his wife; son, three daughters, his three “bonus children”, 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his dear cousin.
'You know in the bell curve of bad-assness you are on the far edge. Maybe not as far as female helicopter door gunners but you are closer to her that to the soccer moms...' - someone who wishes to remain anonymous