In Memoriam:
Joan Patricia Kauffman Crosby
January 17, 1927 - October 18, 2017

Joan Patricia Kauffman Crosby
made her final flight into the sunset this evening, about 11:00 p.m., on this 18th day of October, 2017.
She was 90 years, nine months, and one day old.   She had been ill, and her passing was not unexpected.

She is survived by three of her four children, son Scott, born 1952, and daughters Daryl, born 1957, and Dana, born 1959.   Her son Michael, born 1955, died in 2012.   She is also survived by Dana's children, Jacob, Meredith, and Nicholas, Daryl's children, Dennis and Katya, and Katya's son Garret.

The plans are for cremation, and a burial service this summer, on Chebeague Island, Maine.

Reading Eagle Newspaper Obituary

Stitzel Funeral Home Obituary

Christmas 2011             Dana Hartz               Scott Crosby             Joan Crosby             Michael Crosby           Daryl Crosby

            90th Birthday celebration, 7 January 2017

My memories of my mother, Joan Crosby, include many great and wonderful times.

The most unforgettable event, though, occurred one evening as I was reading some of the first political literature to cross my path, at the grand old age of ten years old.

"Think for yourself," she said.  

She helped me learn how to read, how to write, and, up until algebra in eighth grade, she helped me learn math.   But these three words were by far the most important; for without them all the rest have no meaning, and no value.

I have hearkened back on those words endlessly, ever since.   They have certainly shaped my life.  

My mother had taken flying lessons back in 1946 and 1947, in the year or two before she got married.   She had soloed a Piper Cub in June of 1946.  

I did not tell her when I began taking flying lessons myself, in September of 1986, nor when I bought my first airplane that December, nor when I got my own pilot's license in April of 1987.

But I did cajole her into visiting me in South Carolina for that 4th of July weekend.   And then managed to keep her in suspense as we drove (unbeknownst to her) to the airport, and walked across the ramp to where my airplane was tied down.

For the first time since her own piloting forty years earlier, she stepped into an airplane, buckled up, and went flying.

It might have been forty years, but when we landed, and as we talked while I tied down the plane, she said, "You landed all wrong."

And I had - she had flown a Piper Cub, a tail-dragger, while my Cessna 150 had tricycle-gear.   The techniques for landing the two types are very different.

But the fact of how clearly she still remembered - after forty years - spoke volumes of how much flying meant to her.

        90th birthday partygoers

Tonight, October 18th, 2017, she took her last flight, off into the sunset.   May this great Mother and Pilot find the air smooth, and the lift strong beneath her wings, in whatever winds she finds, and wherever her final flight now takes her.

Treasured keepsakes, from 1946-1947

Newer memories, from July of 1987

Ten years after those flights in July, 1987, I wrote an article on my Mother's return to the skies.
It was published by AOPA Pilot magazine, in their November, 1998 issue.

Memorial for a great Pilot and Mother

Go to top