Obituary: Elizabeth Frances Crossman
Elizabeth Frances Crossman
Jan. 19, 1941 — Nov. 8, 2015
Elizabeth (Betsy) Crossman lost her prolonged battle with lung cancer on Nov. 8, 2015. She is survived by her sister, Nancy Naumann, her husband, John, and her two sons, Mike and Ted and their families.
Born and raised in Glendale, California, she attended Occidental College, majoring in elementary education. It was at Occidental that Betsy made her life-long friends “The Bridge Girls.” She married John just after graduation, and they settled in the Detroit, Michigan area where she taught first grade. It was the first of more than 20 moves that took them back to California, to Japan for 20+ years and also to Korea for a year. Throughout, teaching children was her great love, and she is remembered by generations of her students who were touched by her kindness and patience.
She first experienced Breckenridge in the summer of 1988 and convinced John to visit the next summer. As a result of the latter visit, they bought a vacation home in Peak Seven. Retiring from Hiroshima International School in 1998, she and John moved to Breckenridge full time and designed and built a new home on the adjacent lot. Active in Father Dyer Church, PEO, Knitting Group, etc. and a strong supporter of NRO and BMF, Betsy was well-known and well-liked. She enjoyed needlework, weaving, reading and, of course, talking.
One winter convinced the non-skiers, Betsy and John, to find an alternative residence for the winter months and they rented an oceanside cottage on an island in the Inland Sea near Hiroshima, Japan. The next 10 years were spent enjoying the two so-different cultures and two sets of such amazing friends. Betsy used her teaching experience and Japanese knowledge to lead several Sister City exchanges between Frisco and Nishikawa town in Yamagata, Japan. Many Summit County young people can say their first trip abroad was with Betsy to Japan.
In 2010, after many years of traveling back and forth from Japan to Breckenridge (and to Milwaukee to see son Mike, his wife Kristine, and their beautiful granddaughter Allison), Betsy and John switched their winter escape location to a rented house in Redwood City, California near their son Ted and his wife, Chiaki. Betsy experienced a series of medical problems that made returning to Breckenridge increasingly difficult, and, eventually, the cancer diagnosis that made it impossible. She and John settled in an assisted-living home for the remainder of her fight. She left peacefully, and her family was with her at the end.
A “Celebration of Life” ceremony will be held for Betsy at Father Dyer United Methodist Church this Sunday, June 12 at 1 in the afternoon. A reception will follow. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Betsy’s name to Father Dyer or to your favorite charity.
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