Leo Arthur "Bud" Crosby, Jr.
Pilot, veteran, citrus grower, dancer, family man
Longtime Claremont resident Leo Arthur “Bud” Crosby, Jr. died on May 24, 2012 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Ontario. He was 95.
Born on April 24, 1917, Mr. Crosby grew up with his sister and brother, Margaret and Charles, in Harvard, Illinois and Pueblo, Colorado. In 1943 in Pueblo, he married Marion E. Dyer from Pomona.
After graduating from Pueblo High School, Mr. Crosby attended business college and pursued his interest in flying. He became a pilot and owned 2 airplanes before joining the US Army Air Corps in 1942. In the Army Air Corps, he earned the rank of first lieutenant and served as a flight instructor at bases in Kansas and Texas during World War II.
After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Crosby moved to Pomona where he went to work in the office of a citrus fruit-packing house in Walnut. Shortly thereafter, he bought a 15-acre orange grove in Claremont, which was known as the DCC Grove. Mr. Crosby helped in the construction of the house on the property that he and his wife would live in for the next 64 years. During these years, they had 3 children: daughter Connie Quesada in 1947, son Robert Crosby in 1950 and son John Crosby in 1955.
In 1959, Mr. Crosby sold the grove to a contractor who built a housing tract on the property. The contractor also built a major addition and remodeled the home to change the back of the house to become the front, facing the new housing tract street of DePaul Road.
Throughout his primary career, Mr. Crosby worked for Sunkist Growers at their offices in Upland, Claremont, Riverside and Ontario. During the early 1960s, he returned to school at Mt. San Antonio College and earned an associate of arts degree.
In the late 1950s, Mr. Crosby and his wife started their dance career by joining the Foot 'n Fiddle Square Dance Club in La Verne. They square- and round-danced for years, and Mr. Crosby gradually shifted toward round-dancing only. Eventually, he taught and cued the round dances, something he enjoyed immensely. He became well known in the dancing community and began receiving requests to teach and cue at dance conventions across the western United States, Canada and Alaska. He wrote a number of dances over the years, with several achieving the high honor of “Round of the Month.” He finally retired from the almost full-time work of dancing at the age of 82.
In 2011, the Crosbys moved to the Claremont Manor.
Mr. Crosby is survived by his wife, Marion; his children, Connie, Robert and John; his grandchildren, David, Monica, Chris, Caitlyn and Natalie; and his great-grandson, Brandyn. He was preceded in death by his brother, Charles; and his sister, Margaret.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. today, Saturday, June 2, 2012 at Todd Memorial Chapel, Claremont, followed by burial at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont. Viewing took place yesterday at Todd Memorial Chapel.