EDGEWATER - Former Williamsburg resident Bettejane Mott Crossen of Mitchellville, Maryland, died Saturday, April 26, 2014. She was 89. Mrs. Crossen was born on September 8, 1924 in Noblesville, Indiana. An accomplished trombonist and pianist, she earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University. She pursued postgraduate studies in piano performance at Indiana University and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. As a trombonist, Mrs. Crossen was one of the first women to play in the previously all men's Marching Hundred at Indiana University, helping to fill out the band during World War II. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was the Principal Trombonist in the Detroit Women's Symphony and Grosse Pointe Symphony. She was an accomplished collaborative pianist, with particular expertise in theater music, art songs, and chamber works for strings and piano. She was a founding member of the Chanterelle Trio of Williamsburg and an active participant in the Ford's Colony Theatre Club. Always a devoted arts volunteer, Mrs. Crossen served on the boards of many musical organizations, such as The Tuesday Musicale of Detroit (Life Member), the Detroit Women's Symphony Board (President), the Grosse Pointe Chamber Music Players (charter member and Program Chair), and the Williamsburg Symphonia League (President). In her later years, she helped found First Night of Williamsburg and was the first Program Chair. In 2003, she received a commendation from the Mayor of Williamsburg for 'inspiration and leadership' in recognition of her work for First Night as Program Chair, President (1995-1997) and eventually Director Emirata. Mrs. Crossen's interests and talents were not limited to musical performance and service to arts organizations. She was an educator as well, teaching briefly in the Detroit Public schools, coaching chamber music, and offering courses in music history for the Christopher Wren Association and Elderhostel at the College of William and Mary. She was an avid traveler and enjoyed exploring the cultural history, architecture, and art of other countries during her visits to many European countries, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Mexico. Mrs. Crossen was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Robert J. Crossen. She is survived by three daughters (Kathleen Butti, Janet Crossen and Phyllis Crossen-Richardson) and four grandchildren (Omar and Miriam Butti, Victoria and Robert C. Richardson V). Donations in her memory may be made to the Collington Foundation (designated for the "Employee Scholarship Fund"), Collington Life Care Community, 10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville, MD 20721, or Student League of The Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, P.O. Box 36535, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.
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Published in Virginia Gazette on May 2, 2014