Cover photo for Wilton Harry Crosby's Obituary
Wilton Harry Crosby Profile Photo

Wilton Harry Crosby

March 23, 1919 — February 10, 2012

Wilton Harry Crosby

WILTON H. CROSBY WILTON H. CROSBY, 92, passed away peacefully at his home in Puyallup, WA on February 10, 2012. Wil was born March 23, 1919 at the rural home of his grandparents, James W. and Annie (Zeiger) Crosby in Hays, Ellis County, KS. As a toddler he grew up under the care of his aunt and uncle, Belle (Markham) and John Burns and their family in Waldo KS. At age four he was reunited with his father, Harry W. Crosby and his beloved mother, Mary (Baer) Crosby and spent his early formative years growing up in Salina KS. After short periods of time in Joplin MO and Oklahoma City OK, the family moved to Seattle WA in 1933 and he attended Queen Anne High School. Wil was an excellent student maintaining his place in Honor Society all four years, as well as being active in the music department. He was a Boy Scout, a member of Seattle Chapter Order of DeMolay and the DeMolay Drum and Bugle Corps, and played piano as an original member of "The Commodores" dance band. Upon graduation in 1937, he immediately enrolled in the University of Washington where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi and received his BA in Business (Accounting) in 1941. The day following his UW graduation he began service with the US Army. He served stateside, in England, and in France during World War II. On October 17, 1941 he married his high school sweetheart, Irene E. Salter, in front of a Justice of The Peace in Hannibal MO. While stationed in New Orleans, the couple had the first of their four boys, Robert W. who was born in March 1943. After the close of the War and his return home from France, the family moved to Chicago, where he worked for the Diamond Match Company, and where second son, David James, was born in August 1946. Shortly thereafter, he transferred to Spokane WA and soon left Diamond Match to enter into partnership with his father, owning and operating a dairy farm near Redmond WA. Youngest sons Thomas A. (1948) and William L. (1950) were born during this time. Being a full-time farmer proved frustrating, so in 1950 Wil moved the family to Mountlake Terrace (Edmonds) WA where he accepted the dual position of Assistant Manager and Agency Instructor with the New York Life Insurance Company'?s branch office, beginning his 32-year distinguished career in the life insurance industry. In 1954 the family moved to Tacoma when he was hired by NYLIC'?s Tacoma office to be their Agency Instructor. While with New York Life, he became an Agent and also attained his CLU and LUTC Degrees. In 1962 he was recruited by the home office of United Pacific Insurance Company to help create a new Individual Life Company and remained with them until his retirement as a Vice President of that firm in 1982. For over twenty years, Wilton was a faculty member at the University of Puget Sound where he taught courses specifically designed for business majors and members of the insurance industry.Wil and Irene were long-time members of First United Methodist Church and participated in countless committees, groups, and activities, particularly focusing their efforts as teachers in the religious education department and being founding members of the church'?s Yokefellows group. They both were ardent lovers of the arts and were supporters of local theater and music organizations. Wil'?s own on-stage performances as Hucklebee in "The Fantasticks!" and Colonel Pickering in "My Fair Lady" were always treasured memories for him. They especially enjoyed entertaining family and friends at their home on Horsehead Bay.Following the death of Irene in 1982, Wil married Marlene Marie Morrow in Kilworth Chapel on the UPS campus on September 2, 1983. He will always be the love of her life. After a honeymoon in Greece, the couple moved into their current home on South Hill, Puyallup. They became active members of Light of the Hill Methodist Church and sang each week in the church choir. Together they became active members of Edgar Cayce'?s Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) and attended many functions of that organization. Wil served as Auditor for the Pacific Northwest Region of ARE for a time, and both he and Marlene looked forward to the weekly meetings and especially the many Annual Retreats which they attended at Seabeck. The accompanying photo was taken of Wil and Marlene at a retreat at Seabeck, either Summer 1996 or Spring 1997. For many years, Wil also served as a bereavement volunteer for Good Samaritan Hospice in Puyallup.Throughout his long life Wil enjoyed a multitude of activities, hobbies and interests. He always loved gardening and especially enjoyed cultivating vegetables and growing beautiful roses and fuchsias. For years he was an avid fisherman and enjoyed boating on Puget Sound with friends and family. He always had a profound interest in astronomy, and loved working with numbers and problems regarding probability. He avidly followed the stock market, and was an active trader well into his late 80's. Even when he stopped trading, he continued to pore over daily stock prices and reports. For many years he played billiards and enjoyed attending competitions up and down the West Coast. He delighted in playing chess, backgammon, dominos, and cribbage, was always ready to play various board games, and particularly loved playing bridge and poker. Wil was a "people-person" and always relished a good conversation, be it with a stranger at the grocery store, a friend, or a family member. Any topic of conversation was game, and he shared his thoughts willingly with great knowledge and his infectious sense of humor. He was a member of the Tacoma Elks Lodge #174 and held Masonic affiliations with Tacoma Defiance Lodge No 22 and Holbrook Lodge No 30 (Forest Grove OR) of Free and Accepted Masons, the Scottish Rite and the Afifi Shrine Temple. He was proud to be a life-long member of the Republican Party, and a retired Lt Colonel of the US Army.In addition to his parents and wife, Irene, Wilton was predeceased by his son, David J. Crosby in 1974, and his older sister, Woneta B. Crosby in 2006. Survivors include his wife, Marlene (Morrow) Crosby, of Puyallup; sister, Vivian M. Robinson of Redmond WA; brother, Donald J. Crosby, of Green Valley AZ; sons Robert W. (Elizabeth) of Portland OR, Thomas A. (Suzanne) of Salem OR, and William L. of Atlanta GA; grandchildren Thomas W. Crosby of Hamilton, New Zealand, David H. (Louise) Crosby of Napier, New Zealand, Christopher W. (Kristina) Crosby and Matthew A. (Sarah) Crosby, both of Forest Grove OR, Catherine E. Crosby of Medford OR, and Emily A. Crosby of Salem OR, as well as ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and their families.At Wil'?s request, there will be no service. Cremated remains will be interred at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland OR as well as Haven of Rest, Gig Harbor WA. A Celebration of Life family event will be held at a later date this year. Many thanks to Home Health nurses, especially Helene, and bath aides Iwona and Vickie for their exceptional care for Wilton and support for Marlene. Memorials may be made to Multicare/Good Samaritan Home Health & Hospice, Puyallup WA; the Association for Research & Enlightenment, Virginia Beach VA; or Seabeck Conference Center, Seabeck WA.Arrangements under the direction of Smart Cremation, Redmond, WA.
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