Crosby, Patty Joann
December 6, 1946 - December 13, 2009
Patty Crosby, 63, of Tustin passed away after a long illness at her vacation home in La Quinta. Her delightful personality and good looks made her one of the most admired figures in the Orange County legal community. In 1983, Patty married prominent lawyer Thomas F. Crosby who was soon appointed Judge of the Superior Court by Governor Brown and then elevated shortly thereafter to Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
Patty's remarkable social skills were an invaluable aid to Tom. She dealt with people from every strata of society with the same grace and easy humor. Whether it was attending dinner with a Governor or speaking with a homeless person outside the grocery store, Patty was equally comfortable. One long time friend commented, "She was totally unpretentious. She wasn't overly impressed by power and didn't look down on the less fortunate. She had the knack of making every person feel that she genuinely enjoyed talking with them." Her sparkling smile and wry humor brightened up many otherwise stuffy environments. Tom, widely recognized as one of the most clever and original legal minds in California, was always an influential figure at conferences of Appellate Justices. After the first conference Tom and Patty attended, Tom only half jokingly lamented that he was referred to as "Justice Crosby" for only the first day. By the second day of dinners and cocktail parties, Tom, a man of no small ego, was often introduced as "Patty's husband."
Patty was born in Springfield, Missouri and grew up in Garden Grove. Her husband Tom passed away in 2004. Patty is survived by her daughter Teria Erwig of Laguna Beach, her granddaughter Ashlie Ballard and her two great grandchildren Will and Wade Ballard of Payson, Utah, her stepsons Scott Crosby and Brett Crosby of San Francisco, and her brothers Danny and Robert Wilhite.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
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Published by Los Angeles Times on Jan. 10, 2010.