Aged to perfection

Joyce L. Miller
George Crickard III, his two sons Jack and George IV, and Lois Crickard.

Four generations of the Crickard family have come to call Lake of the Ozarks their home away from home. So, on Aug. 8 when the matriarch of the family turned 90, they decided there was no better way to celebrate her birthday than with a boat ride to Bagnell Dam, also celebrating its 90th birthday. They marked the occasion with a photo of Lois Crickard surrounded by her family and Boston, the beloved dog with Bagnell Dam as the backdrop — two 90-year-olds celebrating. 

Back in 1984 when Lois and George Crickard, Jr., made the trip from Quincy, Ill. to buy their first lake home, they choose the area around Lodge of the Four Seasons. The family eventually had to upsize to a larger home but stayed in the same area near  the 5.5-mile marker on the main channel. 

Although George Jr. passed away in 2010, the family continues to make the three-hour trip to the lake as often as possible. 

"Both my parents value family time and togetherness more than anything else. The lake has given us a beautiful meeting place for 37 years," the younger George said. "We are now in our fourth generation of family visiting. My sister and her family (husband and three kids), now with one grandchild, and my family (wife and three kids) are all based in Quincy but love the lake."

George said they grew up boating on the Mississippi River with a 22-foot center console Mako purchased in Florida. 

"We were way ahead of the times as a center console outboard is now back in stye on the lake," he said. "We purchased out first Cobalt in the late 1980s and are now on our fourth. We try to get down monthly during the winter and as often as possible during the summer spending three to four long weekends per month." 

The Crickard’s perfect day starts with heading out on the boat in the late morning, grabbing some lunch and spending the afternoon swimming off the boat before heading home. It ends with a sunset cruise. Over the years, George said his wife has taken hundreds of photos of the kids on the boat with the sunset in the background. 

About 10 years ago, the family started gathering once a week to share a meal with Lois. That tradition was also carried over for Lois' birthday. After spending part of the day on the water, they packed up and headed to their other home in Quincy for dinner. 

A perfect ending to a perfect day on Lake of the Ozarks. 

Grandsons George IV and Jack with Lois and Boston.