Jim “JC” Crosby, 76, of Lakeland, Florida, a local mechanical and plumbing contractor for over 40 years, passed away on Friday May 5, 2023. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Vickie (Wilson) Crosby; daughter, Debi Hoover and her husband Chuck of Beverly Hills, Florida; son, Michael Crosby and his wife, Suzanne of Lakeland, FL; grandchildren – Deanne and Marie Crosby of Lakeland, FL, Casey Hoover of Jacksonville, FL; two brothers Paul Crosby and Charles Crosby of Lakeland; four sisters – Janet Ginter, of Shelby, OH – Dorothy Brown of Shiloh, OH – Ruth (Dave) Burford of Delaware, OH and Carol Ann Gulley of Huntland, TN; as well as a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, in Florida, Ohio and throughout the United States.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Russell Crosby, and his mother June (Keiser) Crosby.
Jim was born July 17, 1946, in Mansfield, Ohio and grew up in the neighboring town of Shelby.
A draft of a letter Jim wrote to the Shelby High School Alumni Association in 2021 best describes his journey after high school. For those of you that know him well, you will be able to hear his voice as you read the excerpts below. Please keep in mind it was written a few years ago:

Vickie and I have been married 53 years. Vickie worked most of her career with Marriott Corp as an accounting manager and retired in 2015. Me, I left Shelby right after graduation and headed for the Great Lakes and Navy. I spent 3 years (active) with the Navy, moved back to Shelby and married Vickie. I worked for Harriman Plumbing in Mansfield for a few years then moved to Columbus and attended a technical school. While in school, I had an opportunity to work with a plumbing company that helped me move into my own business. After a few hard years, Vickie and I decided to make the move to Florida (1976). That was the best decision for our Family and things began to boom for us. I had a very successful Plumbing and Mechanical business working mainly with hospitals and installing medical gases you use when in the hospital. I retired in 2010 and my son took over the business on a full-time basis at that time. I became bored, so my son and I now own an investment company so Dad will have something to do.
We have two children. Debora, Lakeland Senior High graduate, and a USF (Tampa) graduate in accounting. She is the CFO of an auto group based out of Jacksonville, FL. She has been married to her husband, Chuck for 29 years and they have one child, Casey. Casey graduated High School in Georgia, bounced around some and is now 22. He now works as a welding apprentice in Florida with his Uncle Mike, my son.

Michael graduated from Lakeland High School and began working with Dad at an early age in the construction industry. He holds General, Plumbing, and Mechanical Contractors licenses. He took over day-to-day the business from Dad in 2004 and has been quite successful. He has been married for 31 years to Suzanne, the best daughter-in-law anybody could imagine; she was a stay-at-home mom until the kids were out of the house and now works with Mike in the business. They have 2 children. Deanne graduated from George Jenkins High school in Lakeland, Florida and went on to get her AA in Liberal Arts – She works with young children. Marie graduated from Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland, Florida with a 4.7 GPA and is now attending the University of Florida. She is in her second year – majoring in Environmental Engineering.

Jim believed in the power of love, hard work, education, and perseverance. With the unwavering support of his wife, Vickie, he was constantly learning and challenging himself both professionally and with varied hobbies/interests throughout the years.
Since his writing in 2021, Jim witnessed his grandchildren continue to grow and thrive – Deanne is now a student of the University of Florida, she recently completed her first semester toward an Education Sciences Degree with a 4.0 GPA and is a Child Development Assistant Teacher at Valleyview Elementary; Casey recently graduated summa cum laude from the Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, FL and in the fall, Marie will be a senior at the University of Florida; she has achieved Dean’s List recognition multiple times over the last 3 years.
As for Jim’s “retirement”, this meant going to work four days a week instead of five. His time away from work was of course spent working, whether it be just tinkering away in the garage, doing woodworking or metalworking, on home improvement projects or helping countless others with projects of their own.
In addition to professional achievements, Jim was a soccer referee for many years – achieving the rank of State Referee and officiating games up to the college level. Jim, Debi, and Michael even refereed a few soccer games together as a team. During the soccer years, he also coached an adult team that participated in an exhibition game with members of the early Tampa Bay Rowdies, including Rodney Marsh.
Jim had a passion for helping people. He was a longtime member in good standing with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks – Lodge #1291 (aka the Elks Lodge). Over the years, he held various leadership positions with the Elks Lodge #1291 and through the Lodge spent numerous hours working with charitable efforts including those for Veterans, First Responders, the Boys & Girls Club, as well as supporting causes for the elderly. His proudest moments, as a member of the Elks Lodge, were in service to others, as well as the long-lasting friendships he developed over the years with those he served alongside.

Most recently, he was working diligently on tracing his family tree; reaching out to family members he had previously lost touch with and planning trips to visit family and family grave sites.

Jim was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, family member and friend. His contagious smile and the twinkle in his eyes will be missed by all, however, his legacy lives on in each of us whose lives he touched.
A memorial service will be conducted Thursday, May 18th, 2023 at 2 p.m. at Gentry Morrison Southside Chapel, 1727 Bartow Road, Lakeland, FL 33801, followed by a Celebration of Life! at Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291, 4529 Harden Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33813. For any questions about the Celebration of Life arrangements, please contact Kristen Francks via email – kristen.francks@3ds.com

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Boys & Girls Club or Veterans charities via the Lakeland Elks Lodge. All memorial contributions should be made payable to the Lakeland Elks Lodge -in the memo portion, please note Jim Crosby and the specific charity (Boys & Girls Club or Veterans). Contributions should be mailed to Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291, 4529 Harden Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33813.
For questions regarding contributions – please contact Sandy Fuschetti 863.944.2903 for Boys & Girls Club or for Veterans charities contact Char Fischer 863.698.1080

We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from friends, family and co-workers. A special thanks to the Lakeland Elks Lodge friends for organizing the Celebration of Life and charitable contributions!

Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry Morrison Funeral Home.

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