William Neil Crosby

August 1, 1931 ~ April 4, 2021 (age 89)


Kind-hearted and well-loved are two apt descriptors for William Neil Crosby, 89, who died on April 4, 2021, at Westminster Village in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Mr. Crosby was born on August 1, 1931, to John Dugald Crosby Sr. and Myriam D. Crosby.

A native of Bay Minette, Alabama, he attended Baldwin County High School through his sophomore year.  He then transferred to McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1950.

Mr. Crosby earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Auburn University in 1954. Upon graduating, he worked as a timber buyer for pulpwood company S.M. Adams in Mobile, Alabama.

He married Mary Joe Nettles on February 26, 1955, and was drafted into the Army later that same year. Mr. Crosby completed basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. He then worked as an MP (military police) in the provost marshal office at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia.

After serving active duty, Mr. Crosby resumed his career at S.M. Adams in Mobile. Then in 1961, he moved his family to Marianna, Florida, where he worked as a farm forester for the state of Florida.

In 1964, Mr. Crosby returned with his family to Bay Minette. There he assumed part ownership of Crosby Lumber Company with one of his brothers, John Dugald Crosby Jr. After nearly two decades, he retired from the lumber company and consulted for a number of years as an independent forester.

Before moving to Spanish Fort, Mr. Crosby was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Bay Minette, where he served as an elder and a deacon and sang in the choir. He was instrumental in the formation of Camp Pinetreat in Bay Minette and was a member of the Pinetreat Committee for the Boy Scouts.

Throughout his life and career, Mr. Crosby strove to be a good steward of the timberlands he managed. Friends, family, and acquaintances alike often noted his sweet nature and good disposition.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary Joe Crosby of Spanish Fort; daughters Cydney Beets (Dennis) of Memphis, Tennessee, Myriam Nicholson (Russ) of Dublin, Ohio, and Mary Neil Crosby (John Breslin) of Bay Minette, Alabama; grandsons Neil Nicholson (Lauren) of Dallas, Texas, and Casey Nicholson of Phoenix, Arizona; great-grandson Jack Neil Nicholson of Dallas, Texas; and his brother, Edward Brown Crosby of Asheville, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Dugald Crosby Sr. and Myriam D. Crosby, and his brother, John Dugald Crosby Jr.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to North Baldwin Animal Shelter or to their favorite charity in memory of Mr. Crosby.

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