ATLANTA—Ray Alan Crockett, who retired in July of 2010 as director of public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola North America, passed away last week in Atlanta after a months-long battle with cancer. He was 68 years old.

Crockett began his career in the US Air Force as an information officer for the air weather service in 1968 with increasing responsibilities through 1993, when he was named director of public affairs for the Pacific Air Forces, the USAF’s largest major overseas command. He retired from the Air Force after 26 years as a public affairs officer, at the rank of colonel.

He continued his communications career at both ITT Aerospace & Communications and Lockheed Marietta Aeronautical Systems.  In 1999, he was named director of communications for The Minute Maid Company, part of The Coca-Cola Company. After four years, he was named a director of communications for Coca-Cola North America, the position from which he retired.

Crockett was a mentor to young people at Coca-Cola and in several leadership roles with the Public Relations Society of America, served on many committees focused on education and career building. He was named a PRSA Fellow and was inducted into the PRSA Georgia Order of the Phoenix.

Sonya Soutus, senior vice president of public affairs and communications of the Coca-Cola North America Group, says: “Ray will be remembered for his tenacious desire to do the right thing for the Coca-Cola business and his local community. His many friends and colleagues will miss his wise counsel, his integrity and his wry wit.”