Kathleen Crosby

Kathleen Ross Crosby "Kat" CHARLOTTE - On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Mrs. Kathleen Earle Ross Crosby, departed this earthly life at the Houston Hospice in Houston, TX, at the age of 87. A retired educator and tireless civic leader, Kathleen "Kat" Crosby was born on March 9, 1925, in Winnsboro, South Carolina, as the fifth sibling to Mrs. Beatrice (Tucker) and Mr. William Albert Ross, Sr., (both deceased). She attended the public schools of Fairfield County and received a diploma from Fairfield Training School, Winnsboro, South Carolina, prior to attending college. She graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1946, and later earned her Master of Arts Degree from Bank Street College in New York, NY, in 1970. Kathleen "Kat" Crosby began teaching in 1946 in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. Aside from twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher, she served as an In-Service Specialist for Early Childhood Education from 1967 to 1970. Kathleen Crosby worked at length with Head Start programs, and offered her services as an Education Consultant at the university level. From 1970 to 1976, she was Principal of Billingsville Elementary School. There, she received accolades for her highly successful leadership in dealing with the landmark school desegregation and busing issues that were occurring in the Charlotte metropolitan area. A 1976 CBS television documentary highlighted her outstanding leadership of Billingsville Elementary School. In 1976, Mrs. Crosby became an Area Assistant Superintendent to the district, which comprised twenty-five schools. She retired in 1986 after a successful and distinguished career, having given over forty years of service to the Charlotte School District. In 1970, Kathleen Crosby was appointed to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Charter Commission. An outspoken voice on desegregation, she was named WBT Radio's Woman of the Year 1976. In 1977, she was appointed to the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors. Mrs. Crosby served as Vice-President of the United Community Service Board and on the Community Relations Committee, the University of North Carolina's Board of Trustees, the Drug Education Board, WBT Radio's Black Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees for Johnson C. Smith University. In 1974, she was awarded the B'nai B'rith Women's Human Relations Award, and in 1975 she was inducted into the NAACP's Hall of Fame. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was an active member of First Baptist Church West, teaching Sunday School, singing God's praises in the choir and willingly giving of her time and talents until her declining health. Kathleen Crosby was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Joseph C. Crosby, Sr.; her three brothers, Dr. William Albert Ross, Jr.; The Reverend Paul Lawrence Ross and Julius Mansel Ross, Sr., and one of her sisters, Evelyn Ross Hartzog. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Joseph C. Crosby, Jr. (Wife: Kristina) of Clayton, GA, and her daughter, Kathy Crosby Wells (Husband: Dr. Kenneth Wells) of Houston, TX; five grandchildren (Allison Kathleen, Kenneth Michael, Kaitlyn Marie, Ashley Elizabeth and Samantha Morgan); one sister, Cecile Ross Stevenson (Husband: Lemmon) of Pottstown, PA; five (5) sisters-in-law: Maude Ford Ross (SC); Eliza Ross (NC); Yvonne Crosby (NY), Sarah McDuffie (WS), and Katherine Flora ( MD), and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Services will be held Saturday, November 24, 2012, at First Baptist Church West, 1801 Oaklawn Avenue, Charlotte, NC. A viewing will be held at 11:00 am and final services will begin at 12:00 noon. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Kathleen Ross Crosby may be sent to Johnson C. Smith University, General Scholarship Fund, 100 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC 28216 or First Baptist Church West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave., Charlotte, North Carolina 28216. The family expresses its sincere appreciation to Paula Schurman and the staff of Hearthstone Assisted Living and Autumn Grove Cottage for the devoted care rendered to our loved one, Kathleen Crosby. We also wish to thank the dedicated staff and volunteers of Houston Hospice for the gentle and caring manner in which they attended to her needs. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Grier Funeral Service of Charlotte, North Carolina, Telephone (704) 332-7109.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Nov. 22, 2012