Obituary: Crosby Perry-Smith
November 9, 1923 – September 23, 2022
Crosby was born in Cape May, New Jersey to Oliver Perry-Smith and Agnes Adolph Perry-Smith. Crosby had three older brothers, Oliver Perry-Smith Jr., Truxton and Dixon. All have preceded him in death. The family lived in Anglesea, Stone Harbor, and Gladstone before settling in Lake Placid, NY. He graduated from Lake Placid High School June 1942. Crosby began skiing and ski jumping at the age of 5. He was jumping the Olympic Hill in Lake Placid at the age of 10. At age14 he won the US Ski Jumping Championships in the 18 year old class. At 17yrs he won the Maine State Championships with the hill record in 1942. 1942-1943 Crosby attended Syracuse University winning NY State Intercollegiate Jumping and Combined. He enlisted in the Reserve Corp at Syracuse University 1 year and was called up and volunteered for the 10th Mountain Division (1943-1945). Boot camp at Camp Wheeler, GA then off to Camp Hale, Tennessee Pass, CO and Camp Swift, TX. Next stop was Italy. Crosby served with distinction in the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment – Specializing in demolitions. While in Italy he was in the Po Valley, on Riva Ridge, Mount Belvedere, and on Lake Garda as WWII ended. He was awarded the Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star and Medal of Champaign from the Brazilian Government.
He came to Steamboat after the war and was given Art and Lucy Bogue’s name as they might take him in. The Bogue’s and their daughters, Sharon and Bonnie, bonded and have been lifelong friends -true family. He competed for the SSWSC 1946-1950. While he was a student at Western State College he competed in X-country, Special Jumping and Combined. He raced 4-way, Slalom, Downhill, X-country and Jumping. He was the Founding member of Western State College Ski Team. He was a four time winner of the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association. He received a BA Degree in Business. In 1952 he was a member of the US Olympic Ski Jumping Team in Oslo, Norway.
Crosby then served 1951-1957 with the Federal Civil Service (GS-11) as a technical advisor to the military in Summer and Winter Mountaineering at Ft. Carson. He trained Special Forces, Rangers, Para Troopers and regimental combat teams on their way to Korea.
He returned to Steamboat with his wife, Winona, and his daughters Clarinda and Robin for 2 short years managing Howelsen Hill and its Ski Programs (SSWSC); coaching and operations. In the summer he managed, operated and taught swimming at the Old Town Hot Springs. Many of the families of children he coached remain in the valley and he has gotten to know their children, grandchildren and yes a few great grandchildren! All of whom were his greatest joy and honor to have known!
1960-1970 were spent in Sacramento, CA working for Acacia Mutual Life Insurance. The 1960 Olympics were at Squaw Valley, CA and Crosby served as Chief of Ski Jumping Hill. He returned to Denver in 1970, still working for Acacia, but was quickly put back on the jumping hills by Thor Groswold at Winter Park (1970-1985). Many of his protege’s went on to the Olympics multiple years! One being, Todd Wilson, who for many years has been Director of the Nordic Combined Program for the SSWSC!
Crosby received the Halstead Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to the sport of skiing in Colorado in 1982. In 1992, he was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame and in 1996, inducted into Western State College Sports Hall of Fame. 2012, inducted into the National Ski Jumping Hall of Fame.
Crosby spent many of his retired years in Ouray, CO, skiing, hiking, swimming and soaking at the Ouray Pool, that he worked and managed at during summers while at WSC. He loved getting together with his life- long friend and WSC teammate, Thor Groswold, at Telluride. The last run of the day, usually non-stop, was “See Forever!”
Also while in Ouray, at age 70, he began painting landscapes with the direction and love of Janet Carlile, Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, NY. Crosby was always up for new challenges! He did quite well!
Crosby came back to Steamboat in 2014. He loved skiing with family and friends until the age of 95.
He leaves behind his daughter, Clarinda Spees and her partner Terry Patterson of Twin Falls, ID. Her children, Oliver (Alanna) Spees, Tanner (Alex) Spees, Heidi Spees-Knauss (Cody) all of Grand Junction, CO. Daughter Robin Allen (Tod) and children, Anya Allen Bryan (Josh), Thomas Allen and Kristopher Allen all of Steamboat Springs. Crosby had five great grandchildren, Hiro and Cora Spees, Jackson Spees, John Crosby and Annabelle Bryan.
Crosby will be missed and forever in our hearts!
A celebration of Life will be held at Olympian Hall November 12, 2022 2pm-5pm.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in his name.
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