William Rowley Crosbie died Oct. 21, 2013 in Tarrytown, N.Y. He was 89.
Bill was a second generation homeowner on East Chop Drive in Oak Bluffs. He first visited the Island with his parents in the 1930s and later his family bought the home he owned.
Bill was a member of the “greatest generation”; he always sought to achieve and contribute to others. Quick-witted and with a keen sense of humor, Bill offered wisdom in large measure to family, friends and colleagues.
A descendent of the Mayflower, Bill was born on Jan. 27, 1924 to William G. and Edith Rowley Crosbie and raised in Cuba before moving to Southbridge. Bill was a student at Suffield Academy and then attended Princeton University, where he majored in modern languages. His education was “war interrupted,” so he graduated with the Princeton Class of 1945. During World War II, he enlisted in the army as a demolition expert, fought in the European theatre and was later promoted to captain. After the war, Bill went on to attain a MBA from New York University and then a JD from New York Law School, where he was editor of the Law Review. He was admitted to both New York state and federal bars.
Fluent in Spanish, Bill initiated new business ventures at Cuban-American Sugar Company and Union Carbide Corporation. He progressed to vice president within Manufacturer’s Hanover, now JP Morgan Chase, and led corporate market development.
He was elected to serve his village and county, first as Tarrytown Village Trustee, Westchester County Legislator, and later as Tarrytown Village Justice for 17 years. Bill also achieved the rank of brigadier general in the New York Guard Reserve.
A strong naturalist and environmentalist, Bill was a member of the Audubon Society, Sierra Club and many other charitable organizations. On Martha’s Vineyard, he truly appreciated the migratory birds and the beautiful open space.
Bill was predeceased by his loving wife, Mary Ann Hazelton, and his two brothers, John and Ronald Crosbie. He is survived by his six daughters, Susan Montero and husband Gus of Tarrytown, N.Y.; Sarah DiPillo of Ossining, N.Y.; Heather Rapaport and husband Carlos of Pinecrest, Fla.; Holly Crosbie-Foote of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; Lauren Crosbie and husband Jack Ryan of Oak Bluffs; Lucy Crosbie of New City, N.Y., and 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom will miss him dearly.