MMCM Kenneth Earl Crosby, USN-RET
August 28, 1930 - November 1, 2006
"Mr. TOLEDO (CA-133)" was a giant of a man, not in stature but in dedication, honesty, hard work and patience. Ken Crosby served aboard the USS TOLEDO (CA-133) from February 1949 until March 1956. He loved that ship, it was his introduction to the Navy. He went on to serve in the Navy and his country until his retirement in December 1968. Ken transitioned into civilian life and divided his employment between a ship repair yard and engineering work for a government contractor. In both cases Ken's work was Navy related, he would say "You can take the sailor out of the Navy, but you can't take the Navy out of the sailor."
Meanwhile, John Farris was at work being the driving force that led to the establishment of the USS TOLEDO (CA-133) Association beginning in 1986. To put it in John's own words "It took a little ol' Seaman Cook to start the screws turning once again." In December 1986, 24 former shipmates got together for a mini-reunion in Long Beach, CA. Subsequent reunions were in Long Beach, CA - 1989, Bloomington, IL - 1991, and Toledo, OH - 1993. John remembers "During the four reunions I had, I spent a lot of time looking for a leader among the members. Ken said he was there to help out and would do whatever he could to make it easier for me. He was right there by my side at the last one, every bit the gentleman. He took good care of the association."
The original newsletter produced by the USS TOLEDO (CA-133) was named SeaBlade. In November 1993, Ken published the first association newsletter named SeaBlade II. I can remember it as if it were yesterday....he sat back in his cubicle at his desk cutting and pasting that newsletter with such determination. Below is what he wrote introducing himself:
WHO AM I
"AHOY SHIPMATES! I am the new coordinator for the USS TOLEDO (CA-133) ASSOCIATION. John Farris, our previous coordinator, GRACIOUSLY turned the helm over to me at our reunion in Toledo, Ohio. He was seeking a respite, and I was a logical candidate due to my close proximity to our next reunion site, Norfolk, VA. My name is Kenneth "Ken" Crosby."
As they say....the rest is history. Ken served the association for 13 years. When he took over the association there were around 100 members and when he turned it over in February 2006 the number had grown to over 700 members. For 13 years Ken produced the SeaBlade II and it also grew.....from six pages to twenty pages. During those years he also put together six very successful reunions.
1995 - Norfolk, VA
1996 - Philadelphia, PA
1998 - Laughlin, NV
2000 - San Antonio, TX
2002 - Denver, CO
2004 - Charleston
When Ken originally asked for someone to take over his job in the association, it was because he wanted to step back and enjoy what he worked so tirelessly for all those years. He wanted to go to the reunions to be a spectator and just enjoy. Little did we know the last reunion he did in Charleston, SC, would ultimately be his last reunion. We found out he had inoperable lung cancer December 2005, he insisted that he was going to beat it right to the end. Ken was so determined that he would make the 2006 reunion in Milwaukee, WI in October 2006, but that was not to be. My hero passed away November 1, 2006. - Linda Crosby
Ken accepts his award that was presented at the 2006 Milwaukee reunion,
from his shipmate friends, Don Wood and Harold Weston - October 11, 2006
"GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN"
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