Betty June (Sockman) Crosby

Published 10:19 am Monday, August 6, 2018

Betty June (Sockman) Crosby passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Greenville, South Carolina.  She was surrounded by her children and the love of many. 

Born June 30, 1919, she had a full and rewarding life. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Clifford and Maude Sockman, and was preceded in death by her husband, James Crosby. 

Her brothers, Loy and Don; and sisters, Eva and Kathryn, passed before her, along with many dear family members. 

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She was born and raised in Deshler, Ohio, received a teaching degree from Bowling Green State University, and started teaching in a one-room school house. 

During World War II, she proudly joined the U.S. Navy and became a Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, serving as a control tower operator stationed at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. 

After the war, she returned to Michigan State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education. 

She met Jim at MSU and they married in 1950.

Her greatest love was raising their three children in Greenville, Michigan, where she taught early elementary school for 15 years. She volunteered in many capacities, including Angel Flights, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Sunday school, where she was a member of First Congregational Church. 

In her retirement years, she continued to make many new friends and was known by her devotion to the “green and white” Michigan State Spartans. 

She lived in Florida, Rochester Hills and Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in Greenville, South Carolina. 

She was blessed with a sharp mind, compassionate soul, good sense of humor, and independent spirit. 

A patriot, she took her last flight in a WWII-era Stearman biplane in May. 

She is survived by her children, Bob and Krista Crosby, Scott and Lyn Crosby, and Jan and Dan Skinner. She dearly loved and actively participated in the lives of her grandchildren, Erin (Neil) Grigg, Eric Crosby, Andy Crosby, Brandon (Andrea) Crosby, Ryan Bruntjens, Greg (Karen) Skinner and Charlie (Danielle) Skinner. 

The greatest joy of her long life was to love the next generation, her great-grandchildren Emmaleigh, Lorelei and Seraphina Grigg, Haidyn Crosby, and “baby Betty” Isabelle Skinner. 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at The Gardens at Eastside in Greenville, South Carolina. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Hurst Funeral Home in Greenville, Michigan, with visitation from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. prior to the service.  Graveside services with military honors will follow at Forest Home Cemetery. 

Donations in her memory may be made to The Women In the Military Service For America Memorial or Agape Hospice of Greenville, South Carolina, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at