SCARBOROUGH AND HANCOCK – Retired Ambassador Oliver Sexsmith “Mike” Crosby died of heart failure on Saturday, October 25, 2014, surrounded by his loving family.
The son of Henry Lamar Crosby and Olive Williams Crosby, Oliver was born on April 27, 1920, in Philadelphia, PA. After attending Penn Charter School, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
Oliver served as an officer in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942-46, with 19 months of duty on a destroyer escort in the North Atlantic before being transferred to a cruiser in the Pacific in 1945, ending his tour as a Lieutenant.
Oliver joined the Foreign Service as a Career Officer in 1947, first serving in Athens, where he married his first wife of 52 years, Eleanor S. Crosby. Subsequently he served in Tel Aviv, and then Iran, where he was stationed in the American consulate in Tabriz, during which time he climbed Mt. Ararat. After a four-year assignment in Berlin, he became United States Government Observer with the Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1958-59. Following an assignment in Washington, DC, he served in Nicosia, Cyprus; Bamako, Mali; and Lagos, Nigeria, later becoming the United States Ambassador to the People’s Revolutionary Republic of Guinea from 1977-80 under President Jimmy Carter.
Retiring from the Foreign Service in 1980, Oliver and Eleanor settled in Hancock Point in the home where he had been a summer resident since age 2. He was a co-founder of the Frenchman Bay Conservancy and served on its board for many years. He worked energetically for the purchase of Tidal Falls, now a public park in the town of Hancock. Oliver founded a summer school scholarship program for local children to encourage them to consider pursuing a college education, and helped set up a club where teenagers could meet in a supervised environment.
At the time of his death Oliver was a resident of Piper Shores in Scarborough. He was predeceased by his first wife, Eleanor, and his younger son, Hunter. He is survived by his second wife of 10 years, Beryl; son Michael Crosby and wife Carol; daughter Jane Giles and husband David; daughter-in-law Linda Crosby McDowell; grandchildren Julie, Sarah, Gareth, Nicki, and Mackenzie; and great-grandson Noah. A memorial service will be held in the Hancock Point Chapel next summer.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Frenchman Bay Conservancy, P.O. Box 150, Hancock, ME 04640.