It was one of those historical happy-sad moments as mostly Toledo residents gathered at a spot on the river side of Criteser’s Marina, just southwest of Toledo. They were there to celebrate and honor one of Toledo’s iconic marine vessel mechanics – Ralph Criteser. Criteser worked at his father’s marina for over 70 years until even he also decided he’d had enough of hard work keeping the area’s sea-going vessels at sea.
Criteser assisted and cohorts climbed aboard “The Rex,” the Criteser family tug boat that has pushed vessels into the marina to be worked on for many decades. Mr. Criteser has mastered every aspect of shipboard mechanics from rebuilding engines to new coats of paint.
At the ripe young age of 91, Mr. Criteser managed one last launch of The Rex and it went off flawlessly with a big whoooosh! The crowd erupted in hearty clapping and a chorus of good wishes to Mr. Criteser.
Although Mr. Criteser has since retired from ship modification and maintenance, his hard-working sidekick, The Rex, has been acquired by the Port of Toledo to carry on with marine work – shepherding watercraft large and small in and out of the Toledo Shipyard.
Although Mr. Criteser will be at home, overlooking the Yaquina River, he’ll still get to watch his work-buddy, The Rex, continue on with the family tradition.