Jean Marie Crosby, a tireless mother of seven who lived in the same quiet Sylvania neighborhood for more than a half century, died peacefully early Saturday, August 28 2021, in her home with family members at her side. She was 91.
A Pennsylvania native who moved to Ohio with her late husband Ivan Crosby in the 1960s, she raised her three daughters and four sons in the family home on Balfour Road, but also became a caregiver to generations of children in the area.
In an age when both parents worked, Jean became a babysitter for youngsters to help support her growing family. Her own children said it was not unusual for them to arrive home from school to a house filled with toys and the sounds of laughter.
"I've never seen a bigger smile on mom's face than when she was watching children at play," said her daughter, Beth Crosby, who became her mother’s caregiver in later years.
“Long after she stopped caring for them, Mom continued to follow their lives through the holiday cards and letters they would send her,” said another daughter, Judi Sallah.
An avid walker and bike rider, Jean always had a friendly wave for her neighbors during her daily jaunts past their homes. "She was happiest when she was outdoors, riding her bike, taking long walks," said Ms. Crosby.
Jean was raised in the small town of Coudersport with nine siblings during the Depression in a home where "everything was baked from scratch and nothing was wasted," said Mrs. Sallah.
She met her husband-to-be in the same town, where their family properties were next to each other.
When Mr. Crosby finished his service in the U.S. Navy in World War II, the two married and eventually hit the road, traveling from town to town while Mr. Crosby worked on a gas pipeline.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Crosby took a job as a transportation manager with Owens-Illinois and the couple settled in their two-story home in Sylvania.
After Mr. Crosby retired in the late 1980s, the two sold their house and moved down the road to a home surrounded by a large yard and massive, oak trees.
There, Jean spent years babysitting her grandchildren, who had fond memories of riding their bikes in her big circular driveway. “They were always so excited to go to Grandma Crosby’s,” said her daughter-in-law, Lynn Crosby.
One of her granddaughters remembered spending countless hours drawing pictures and painting with her. “She was the best grandma and the best friend a little girl could have,” said Ryann Sallah.
Mrs. Crosby was preceded in death by her husband, and all of her siblings. She is survived by her seven children: daughters, Cynthia (Robert) Revard, Beth Crosby, Judi (Michael) Sallah; and sons, David (Christine) Crosby, Dan (Lynn) Crosby, Tom (Lisa) Crosby, and Sam Crosby; along with numerous grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Ohio Living Hospice for their compassion and kindness, with a special thank you to Mom’s nurse, Tiffani, who was a Godsend to our family.
A prayer service to celebrate her life will be held by the family in private quarters. The family requests that any donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Online condolences to
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