Mark Earl Criner Jr.

March 23, 1932April 27, 2021

Mark Earl Criner Jr., 89, Civil Service employee, transitioned in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, April 27, 2021. He was born in Boynton, Oklahoma on March 23, 1932. He was the youngest child and only son of Mark Criner Sr. and Frances (Eubanks) Criner, both of whom preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were his five older sisters; Mildred Barnes, Wilma Wahington, Bertha Williams, Nathella Brooks and Earnestine Elliott.

His formative years were spent in Muskogee Oklahoma. The Criners later moved to Wichita, Kansas where Mark graduated from Wichita East High School. Following graduation, Mark attended Langston University. Later, Mark enlisted in the United States Air Force. Mark obtained his Associate of Arts Degree and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, from Columbia College in Missouri.

Mark has always had a passion for knowledge. In 1967, in an attempt to raise the consciousness of African Americans during that turbulent era, Mark partnered with Billy Alexander to open a Black History bookstore and Heritage Library in Wichita. In addition, Mark served twenty-five years with the Federal Government with tenures at the U.S. Accounting Office, Departments of the Air Force and Army, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Throughout the years, Mark became very involved in community service. He participated in and held various leadership roles with the Kansas State Historical Society, Vashti Lewis Book Club and the Golden Ages Club at McAdams Park. Mark was also involved with the African American Council of Elders and SCORE (Senior Corp of Retired Executives) where he counseled potential entrepreneurs on how to start and grow small businesses. Mark also had a passion for genealogy which he loved to share with others during his sunset years.

Mark leaves to cherish his memory his lovely wife of sixty-one years, Birdie Ann Criner (Arlington, TX); daughter, Terri Criner-Braswell (Arlington, TX); son, Mark (Marty) Criner III, (Phoenix, AZ); son-in-law, Gerald Braswell (Arlington, TX); grandson, Tre Braswell (Arlington, TX); and granddaughter, Lyric Braswell (Arlington TX) in addition to a host of other family members and friends.

A visitation will be available from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at Resthaven Mortuary, 11800 W. Highway 54, Wichita, Kansas 67209. Mark's service will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 6, 2021, at Chisholm Trail Church of Christ, 5833 E. 37th Street N, Wichita, Kansas 67220.

Mark's services to be livestreamed from Resthaven Mortuary & Resthaven Gardens of Memory Facebook page at


  • Michael Durant, Pallbearer
  • Michael Harton, Pallbearer
  • Tre Braswell, Pallbearer
  • Perry Woodard, Pallbearer
  • Kent Fowler, Pallbearer
  • Marvin Stone Jr., Honorary Pallbearer
  • Ester Earl Edwards, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Junious Hale, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Eugene Anderson, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Gerald Braswell, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, May 6, 2021



Mark Earl Criner Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Donna Hansen

May 5, 2021

Birdie, I am so sorry for your loss. If this man is who I believe him to be -- I worked at the Billeting Office on McConnell AFB for a year in 1966 or so while my husband was serving in Viet Nam. I believe Mark was my supervisor and he drove a black VW. We had a good working relationship and I have thought of him many times through the years.

Harry Simpson

May 2, 2021

Rest Mark, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation. U.S. Air Force.