Final Inning: Charles F. Crosby ’63 (1941–2016)
It was easy to see what, and whom, Charlie Crosby ’63 loved: his wife, Carole, his family, and Norwich, especially the students. Charlie passed away this past spring after a 15-year battle with leukemia. He wore many Norwich hats during his lifetime, from cadet to sports information director. But we’ll remember him most for the love he gave.
Charlie and I, along with about 30 other rooks, were trying out for the freshman hockey team in November of 1959. The competition was intense. After we completed the skating and passing drills, Coach Forbes told us to exercise a one-on-one shot against the goalie. Charlie’s turn came and he picked up the puck at center ice. About 20 feet from the goalie, he “caught a blade,” crashed into the ice, then smashed into the goalie. They slammed into the net, and the whole mess of them slid back to the boards. Charlie knew his chance of making the team was finished.
Years later at a social gathering, one of the wives asked Charlie if he played hockey at Norwich. Charlie retold the above story with so much “Crosby humor” that he had everyone laughing. This is the Charlie that I loved and will always remember. – Dick Macy ’63
Here are some more reflections from a handful among the innumerable who loved him back:
If he saw someone in need, he would, secretly, make sure they got taken care of.
– Cathy Diego
Norwich Athletics Department
How many times did I eagerly await “Charlie’s Corner” for much-anticipated sports scores and game write-ups? When I think of Charlie, I think of Norwich, and my wife, Kathy, adds that he was “a great husband to Carole and devoted father to their daughters.”<
– Charley Holden ’67
When Charlie worked in optical sales, he would travel all over the country during the week, fly back to the east coast on Friday, hop into his car, drive to Norwich for a Friday-night hockey game, then drive back home. Coming to work here was a dream come true for Charlie, and I believe that being at Norwich enabled him to successfully battle leukemia for as long as he did.
– Tony Mariano
Norwich Athletics Director
The student-athletes loved to see him come around after the games and share how proud he was of them.
– Mike McShane
Men’s Hockey Coach
We’re in the business of competition, and Charlie was competing against an opponent that was a difficult one to face. And yet he faced it, with courage and with grace.
– Mark Zacher
Head Women’s Basketball Coach
I remember certain times him coming into the office and saying, “Mark, you guys stink,” and really being able to take that as him wanting nothing more than to see us get better.
– Mark Murnyack
Head Football Coach
Charlie holds a special place in the hearts of so many because of how much he cared about the students and Norwich athletics.
– Derek Dunning
Director of Athletic Communications
Memorial gifts may be made to the Charlie Crosby ’63 Scholarship Fund at Norwich University c/o the Development Office, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT 05663.