Base says goodbye to friend
By Capt. Mike Chillstrom, Gunfighter Public Affairs
/ Published August 31, 2006
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Nearly 200 people came together Tuesday morning to say goodbye and mourn the loss of a fellow Gunfighter, Margie Crosby, who passed away Aug. 25.
The packed ceremony at the Community Center was an opportunity for attendees to share their memories of Ms. Crosby and celebrate her life.
"The city, base and surrounding community are so much better because Margie Crosby was a part of it," said Joe B. McNeal, Mountain Home mayor.
Ms. Crosby's civilian career at Mountain Home Air Force Base spanned nearly eight years, including the last five years as a management analyst for the Manpower office.
Before that, she served one year as a budget analyst for the 366th Medical Group and more than two years at the Community Activities Center within the 366th Services Squadron.
During Tuesday's memorial service, friends and associates were quick to point out Ms. Crosby's magnetic personality and likeability.
"She taught me more about life than anyone," said Betty Roland, Ms. Crosby's friend and supervisor in the manpower office. "Margie was a mentor to all, regardless of whether someone was a lieutenant, airman or chief. She was honest - you may not have liked it - but she was honest. She'd tell you the truth and nothing more. I just can't say enough about her."
Ms. Crosby previously was enlisted in the Air Force for 13 years, something that helped mold her character and work ethic.
"I talked with her often, and I always came away thinking Margie had a tremendous sense of what's right," said Maj. Anne Warnement, 366th Mission Support Squadron commander.
For her friend, retired Chief Master Sgt. Henry Toy, summarizing Margie's life was simple. "She was simply the best," the chief said.
In a 2001 editorial, she wrote for The Gunfighter, Ms. Crosby described the close-knit relationship she had with her fellow Gunfighters. "I am simply proud to call Mountain Home AFB my extended family," she wrote.
Ms. Crosby was born in 1952 in Columbus, Ark. After graduating from Howard County High School in Tollette, Ark., in 1970, she attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College.
During her 13-year enlisted Air Force career, Ms. Crosby earned numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. She separated from the Air Force under an early release program in 1992.
She was the base nominee for the 2002 Roy Wilkins Award for Distinguished Contributions in Civil and Human Rights.
Her most recent work was establishing a Residential Children's Home for Southwest Arkansas Displaced Children.
She is survived by her husband, retired Chief Master Sgt. John Crosby; their three children; Melody Crosby-Whitaker, LaKesha Evans and John Crosby; and three grandchildren; Kyra, Kobe and Mary.