A fan of the Red Sox and an impassioned love for his family.

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Posted Tue, May 9, 2017

Joe Crosby and his third grandson Michael.

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – A love for the Red Sox that could only be match by his love of his grandchildren. Joseph Crosby lived about as full of a life as a person could ask for.

Born on Feb. 23, 1915, Joseph, who preferred to go by Joe, grew up in Syracuse, New York. From there, he went to Columbia University in New York City. “He used to brag about being able to ride the subway during the night for only a nickel,” said Maureen Stefanski, Joe’s youngest daughter.

Joe met his wife, Genevieve, in Syracuse. Here, she attended a secretarial school. After a couple of years of dating, Joe and Genevieve were married in July 1939 and made their way to East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. They bought a house and settled down, and Joe found himself a job selling church supplies for Will & Baumer Candle Co.

Joe and Genevieve had three children, Pam, Brian and Maureen. During that time, their small two-bedroom ranch-style house became a little bit cramped. Joe and Genevieve used one bedroom with Pam and Brian sharing bunk beds in a room in the basement of the house, upon the arrival of Maureen, Joe built a second floor to his current house. This allowed Brian, Pam and Maureen to finally all have their own separate rooms growing up. He also added a patio room, attaching the garage to the house. This would become the family favorite room in the house in his later years.

Besides enjoying his grandchildren and family gatherings, Joe Crosby had one big passion in life — the Boston Red Sox.

The biggest challenge he faced with his children was Brian, who had Down Syndrome. Despite the condition, they raised Brian as if he was any other child. They made sure to give him the same education, the same punishments when he acted up, and making sure he had a good job once he finished with school.

Joe had one big passion in life. The Boston Red Sox. He found time to catch as many games as he could on TV and live, and he shared that passion with his children and grandchildren. It was his hope to watch the Red Sox win the World Series one day, and he remained tireless as a fan year-after-year.

As life went on, and his children moved out, Joe eventually moved into his own bedroom. “Well, he was a snorer,” Stefanski said, “and supposedly it helped him sleep better.” Despite being in separate bedrooms, Joe and Genevieve’s marriage remained strong. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1989, and their 60th in 1999.

Joe Crosby enjoyed retired life, which he spent with family, friends, watching the New England Patriots and of course, every Boston Red Sox game.

Joe retired and went on living life enjoying the Red Sox. Some of his favorite things during this time was having his grandchildren visit him, cheating at solitaire, and enjoying the company of friends and family. Many nights were spent playing cribbage with his grandchildren, with early morning awakenings to warm the patio with an old-style fireplace, which is where the majority of time was spent when the Red Sox weren’t on.

Genevieve died of in 2002, and the couple’s son Brian died in 2003. Joe passed on July 29, 2004, after spending a year being visited by friends and family, and watching every game of the Red Sox and New England Patriots. All three were buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He is survived by his daughters Pam Aitchison and Maureen Stefanski.

Joe unfortunately was never able to see his Red Sox win the World Series. But later that October, the Red Sox went on a miracle run, including coming back from a 3-0 game deficit to beat the New York Yankees. The team capped it off with a World Series sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals.

“He went to help them,” Stefanski said. “He took a nap for a little bit during that Yankees series, but he woke up in time and helped them. He was their angel in the outfield.”

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About Matthew Stefanski

Matthew Stefanski is a Denver-area writer and journalist

View all posts by Matthew Stefanski

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