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Frederick E. Crosier, 104

December 13, 2013

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Frederick Elbert Crosier, 104, a lifelong resident of North Adams, died on Dec. 13, 2013.

Born in North Adams on April 24, 1909, the only child of Frederick and Rose Lane Moore Crosier, of Greylock and North Adams, respectively, he grew up on the family farm on Protection Avenue, where he enjoyed the woods and the fields, the farm and the animals. He loved berry picking and climbing in the apple trees. His family later moved to a house on Ashland Street and he attended the former Mark Hopkins School. Of all his classes, he enjoyed shop most and made a maple ladder-back chair that remained in his room until his last day. He also learned to use the printing press in shop and printed all the tickets for school events.

He attended Drury High School, where, as a freshman, he took his first French course and discovered a love for words and language that lasted the rest of his life. One of his prized possessions was his Larouse de Poche pocket French dictionary. He passed the exam for an amateur radio license at age 15, call sign WA1EKR, and his uncle James Durocher helped him in putting up a pole radio antenna that still stands not far from the Ashland Street house's location. Also at this time, he decided on his own to join First Methodist Church. He was given a small membership card that he proudly carried in his wallet for the rest of his life and later served on the church's board of trustees.

He was the last surviving member of Drury High's first school band from 1924, led by James Morley Chambers. Mr. Crosier played the clarinet in the band, which played a concert in April in New York City at Wanamakers Department Store, made a recording at the Thomas Edison Studio and then paraded from the Belmont Hotel to the Hippodrome on 44th Street.

Mr. Crosier was employed by the former Sprague Electric Co. for many years. In his mid-20s, he went to study at the New York Institute of Photography. This was in the depths of the Great Depression when many were standing in breadlines. He lived at the YMCA and was running out of money. He wired home to his Aunt Maude who sent him $5. When the money arrived, he had already landed a job retouching photographic negatives. His first job after finishing the course in New York City was as the official photographer for Sprague, which was new and involved in manufacturing for the war effort. After the war, he continued to work for Sprague as product engineer in charge of dry electrolytic capacitors.

After high school, he had worked in the chemistry laboratory of the former Arnold Printworks and later for GE in Schenectady, N.Y.

By all accounts, Mr. Crosier was an excellent figure skater, swimmer and dancer. He won the lead in the senior class play with his ability to do the Charleston. He was also a member of the Lafayette-Greylock Lodge of Masons for 65 years.

He was 18 when he met Doris Jane Loomis, then 15, and asked her to go with him to the prom. She also loved to dance and welcomed the opportunity. They were married in 1935 at the former Notre Dame Church, with a reception at her parents' house on River Street. He was 26 and she was 23 and had just graduated from North Adams Normal School (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.) They were married for 66 years.

He leaves two daughters, Cynthia Jane Baird and her husband, James, and Susan Carol Jones and her husband, C.R.; five grandchildren, James Baird and his wife, Michelle, Heather Baird and her husband, Sean Daly, Graham Jones, Perry Jones and his wife, Jacqueline, Amanda Jones Wyckoff and her husband, Simon, and four great-grandchildren, Killian Daly, Sofia Jones and Tristan and Cameron Baird.

FUNERAL NOTICE — A celebration of Mr. Crosier's life will be held at Windsor Lake in June 2014. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, at Southview Cemetery.

Those who wish may make a contribution in his memory to the Drury High School Band, Drury High School, 1130 South Church St., North Adams, MA 01247. Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
Post Comment
I'm sorry to hear about Fred's passing, he was my fathers boss at Sprauge Electric. My mom was at NAC for a short time before moving to WC. I enjoyed talking to him many times on the front porch . He certainly was a book of knowledge even at 104 !
from: Adriene Davineon: 04-15-2014

The Staff of NAPL want your to know who much my liked Mr. Crosier. He was a lovely man who made us smile. He will be missed.
from: North Adams Public Libraryon: 12-23-2013

Fred was a wonderful neighbor on Wells Ave for 25 years. I enjoyed talking gardening with him and we both enjoyed looking at the beauty of both our flower beds. I will greatly miss his wonderful stories about earlier times. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends. Rest in Peace Fred
from: Debra Vinceletteon: 12-21-2013

Privileged to know Fred while at Sprague and for years thereafter. He would talk about playing in the Drury Band for President Coolidge in addition to the events cited above. Up until a few years ago, he would play his old-time clarinet with the Drury Reunion Band nights. A genuinely good guy with expertise in many fields and a fine community asset.
from: Mike Hutchinsonon: 12-19-2013

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