Keith A. Crippen, senior manager of creative services for Delaware North Cos., died Feb. 11 under Hospice Buffalo care. He was 48.
A lifelong resident of the Buffalo area, Mr. Crippen left his mark on the Western New York advertising community during a 27-year career in which his fine arts background and love of words, fashion and poetry led to positions ranging from advertising copywriter to creative director, producer and agency executive.
His work on various ad campaigns earned both local and national recognition. He won a number of Addy awards, given by the Advertising Club of Buffalo, and the 2007 Alex Osborn Award for lifetime achievement in the field.
During his time at Delaware North, Mr. Crippen partnered with Buffalo-based creative shops to produce marketing materials that showcased his talents nationally and internationally.
One of the few African-American ad professionals in Western New York, he worked to educate minority students about career opportunities in the industry. He was an active United Negro College Fund mentor and frequent guest lecturer at the University at Buffalo, Medaille College and Buffalo State College.
Mr. Crippen shared his expertise with peers as a guest judge for ad club competitions across the country, and developed and supervised college internship programs at many of the companies for which he worked.
With his godmother, Bernice Wiggins, he designed and collected artifacts for a museum celebrating the 75th anniversary of Trinity Baptist Church, a religious cornerstone of the African-American community.
He attended Buffalo parochial schools, Sweet Home High School and Medaille College, where he graduated in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in media communications.
Mr. Crippen was a former member of the Buffalo Arts Commission and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra board of trustees.
Surviving are his partner, Larry Adamczyk; his parents, Fannie Heritage and Robert C. Crippen; two sisters, Gigi Moore and Delria White; and a brother, Robert C. II.
A service was held Saturday in Calvary Baptist Church.