Nov. 9, 1923-Sept. 23, 2022
Crosby was born in Cape May, New Jersey, the youngest of Oliver Perry- Smith and Agnes Adolph Perry- Smith’s four sons. They grew up in Lake Placid, New York, and built a ski jump in their back yard. Crosby won many ski jumping championships, including on the Olympic Hill in Lake Placid, N.Y. In 1943, while on a ski scholarship at Syracuse University, he was accepted into the 10th Mt. Division of the Army and trained at Camp Hale in Leadville, Colorado. During WWII he served in the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment, specializing in demolitions. The 10th fought at Riva Ridge in Italy and Crosby received the Soldier’s Medal and the Bronze Star.
Upon returning from the war, Crosby attended Western State College in Gunnison where he received a BA in Business. While there he was instrumental in founding the Western State College Ski Team which won the Intercollegiate Championship for several years in a row. In 1952 Crosby was chosen for the Olympic Jumping Team and competed in Oslo, Norway. Crosby’s friend at WSC, Tex McClatchy, introduced him to Ouray, Colorado, where Crosby ran the Ouray Hot Springs Pool for several summers. Tex also introduced Crosby to his sister Winona who Crosby married. Crosby and his wife lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he worked as Technical Advisor to the Military in Summer and Winter Mountaineering at Ft. Carson. He and Winona had two daughters, Robin and Clarinda. In 1957 they moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where Crosby worked at Howelsen Hill with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. He coached many young ski jumpers, some went on to become Olympians. The Perry-Smith family then moved to Sacramento, California, where Crosby worked with his brother Truxton at Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Co. They returned to Denver in 1970. Crosby worked in the insurance industry until he retired. He and Winona divorced in 1989.
During his time in Denver Crosby coached ski jumping on the hills at Winter Park. He received the Halstead Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to the sport of skiing in Colorado in 1982. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1992, into Western State College Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and into the National Ski Jumping Hall of Fame 2012.
In his late 60’s Crosby stepped out of his comfort zone and started new adventures with Janet Carlile, an artist who works as a Professor of Art at Brooklyn College. Their relationship spanned a quarter of a century, living in Ouray, Colorado and Hurley, New York. Crosby hiked, skied, and traveled all over the Southwest, West, New England, New York, and Switzerland with Jan and their little dog Happy Schnitzel. They spent many days in museums in New York, Washington D.C., and Denver. Crosby took up yoga and pilates, and the Hot Springs Pool was a favorite haunt. He acted as Assistant Camp Host in the Ouray Campground for ten years beginning in 1999. At 70 Crosby started painting. His work was inspired and informed by his love and knowledge of the Alpine terrain, his memories of the 10th, and the paintings of the Hudson River School, especially Albert Bierstadt. Many of the paintings were done in collaboration with Jan. From 2005- 2009 he was a member of the Red Mountain Gallery in Ouray and had a one-man show at Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. During this time Crosby loved partying and spending time with his many friends, and skiing with his old friend Thor Groswald.
In 2014 Crosby moved back to Steamboat Springs to be with his daughter Robin and her family. He skied until he was 95.
Crosby leaves behind his partner Janet Carlile, his two daughters, Robin Allen and Clarenda Spees, his nephews Robert and Tom Perry-Smith, six grandchildren, five great grandchildren, many nephews and nieces. Crosby will be missed and forever in our hearts.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Olympian Hall in Steamboat Springs Colorado on November 12, 2022 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in his name.