Bill Rechin, 80, a cartoonist known for the syndicated “Crock” strip, which parodies life in a Foreign Legion desert outpost, died May 21 at his home in Spotsylvania County of complications from esophageal cancer.

In 1975, Mr. Rechin (pronounced “reckon”), Don Wilder and Brant Parker created the “Crock” comic strip as a parody of the Foreign Legion classic “Beau Geste.”

The strip, which follows the adventures of Vermin P. Crock and an assortment of characters stationed at their grim desert outpost, is distributed by King Features Syndicate and appears in more than 200 newspapers in 19 countries. Wilder and Parker predeceased Mr. Rechin.

William Joseph Rechin was born in Buffalo, N.Y. After graduating from the Albright School of Art in Buffalo, he served in the Army during the Korean War.

As part of his military service, he helped design training manuals and graphic aids. When he left the Army, Mr. Rechin joined a graphics studio in Washington.

In addition to “Crock,” Mr. Rechin’s other strips included “Out of Bounds” and “Pluribus.” Since its creation, the “Crock” series has published more than 12,000 strips. He was a past president of the National Cartoonists Society.

Mr. Rechin’s son Kevin and son-in-law Bob Morgan plan to continue producing the comic strip.

Mr. Rechin’s wife of 55 years, Patricia Telfer Rechin, died in 2006.

Besides his son Kevin, of Falls Church, survivors include six children, Mari Slater of Spotsylvania County, Kathi Moran of Lynchburg, Jeff Rechin of Amissville, Va., Lori Sheridan of Spotsylvania County, Bill Rechin of West Springfield and Kris Rechin of Arlington; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Staff and wire reports