“He was 93 years old and he was far too young,” said his son, Mark Critch.
Critch was best known for his decades of work as a crime reporter with VOCM news in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, and will be fondly remembered by many listeners by his nickname, Mr. Crime.
Before getting into radio, he worked in public relations for the U.S. Air Force at Fort Pepperell, then took a job with The Daily News.
“He worked for the newspapers before he went into radio, and then he was in radio for a long, long time, so the guy had a very storied history, said John Murphy, former general manager of VOCM who worked alongside Critch for about 20 years.
Murphy said people remember Critch for his unique style of delivering the news. As Mr. Crime, Critch came up with the catchphrase “details are scanty.”
Murphy remembers Critch for his way with words.
“He was a wonderful wordsmith, which is probably the greatest thing that he was able to do. He never ever needed a thesaurus; he just knew all of the words and he was able to put them all together, and always in the exact right context.”
He retired from VOCM in 1991.
Critch will be remembered by his wife, Mary Critch, his sons, Mark and Michael Critch, three grandchildren, and many friends, colleagues and admirers.
“It’s too bad when anybody passes away, but you know, fella got a good run at it, aged 93, and he had quite a good life,” said Murphy. “I mean he had a very, very successful career, very, very happy family life. So you know, if you’re going to go out of this world, that’s the way to go.”
Critch’s funeral mass will take place from the Basilica in St. John’s Thursday, and his ashes will be buried at Belvedere Cemetery.