Hartley 'Pete' Crosby


Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2007

Longtime Juneau resident Hartley "Pete" Crosby, died Jan. 15, 2007, at the Juneau Pioneer Home. He was 91.

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He was born Sept. 19, 1915, in Omaha, Neb. His family later moved to Portland, Ore. During the early 1930s, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Oregon. His sister, Brownie Bland, and her husband, Charlie, lived in Juneau. They persuaded him and their sister, Thelma, brother-in-law, A.W. "Bud" Boddy and their family to come to Juneau.

They arrived in Juneau on the passenger ship Northland in the fall of 1941. He went to work at the A.J. Mine as a crane operator. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and went through basic training at Fort Chilkoot in Haines. He was stationed at Moses Point, where he ran a bulldozer to keep the airfield clear so airplanes could land and refuel.

After the war, he returned to Juneau and went to work for the Corporation of Engineers at the Subport. He met Jean Eby, and they were married in November 1947.

In 1948, he became a police officer for the Juneau Police Department. In 1952, he became a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

When Alaska became a state, Gov. Bill Egan asked him if he would be interested in applying for a position as a traveling magistrate. He applied and was hired.

Later he was appointed district court judge and served until his retirement in 1974. At the time of his retirement, he was one of two judges that were not licensed attorneys. After retirement, he still worked as a pro tem judge, filling in for vacant positions until 1985, when he permanently retired.

He was active in the Juneau Elks Lodge and served in all the officer positions and became exalted ruler from 1970 to 1971 and served as Alaska State Elks Association president in 1988-89. He was a life member of the Elks and also belonged to the Pioneers of Alaska, Juneau Igloo No. 6.

In 1966, he and his wife bought property on Mosquito Lake near Haines, cleared the property and hauled all the materials and lumber up to the lake to build their summer recreation cabin. Even though their cabin didn't have running water or electricity, they spent many enjoyable summers there in retirement.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Jean, in June 2006; parents; and sisters, Thelma Boddy, Brownie Bland, Betty Holmes and Shirley Weber.

He is survived by his daughters: Sharon Deja and her husband, Henry, Norma Crosby of Wisconsin, and Linda Crosby of Oregon; sister, Marion Sprague of Nevada; four grandsons; four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be conducted by the Elks Lodge at 2 p.m. Monday at the Juneau Pioneer Home, 4675 Glacier Highway.

Donations in memory of Crosby can be made to the JPH Donation Fund at the Juneau Pioneer Home or to a charity of your choice. Family members can be reached through Sharon Deja at 8941 Haffner Ct., Juneau, AK, 99801.

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