James Harold Crosby

Jim Crosby passed away September 17, 2017, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He lived his 80 years to the fullest.

Jim was an artist, designer and craftsman who saw the beauty in everything. He appreciated a witty, well-told story and perfected the craft himself, often ending a funny story with an up-turned smirk. He loved to talk to other creative people about style and technique. He set high standards for himself and others, and particularly expected the best performance from his favorite sports teams. He was a life-long learner–whether it was a new language or how to play Pokemon Go.

Jim’s creativity showed in everything, whether sending birth announcements or building cigar-box guitars. Painting and carving were his passion. His most prized piece was a full-size, hand-carved carousel horse he made. It took him 18 years to complete, and he kept a detailed account of the entire process.

Jim loved his family and friends dearly. He was happiest when spending time with them, always interested to hear their latest adventures. Jim enjoyed traveling with Virginia, going to movies, listening to jazz or dining out with friends. He instituted new traditions for his family: taco night, decorating Christmas trees in new ways, and creating hand-made gifts for one another.

Jim was born on March 14, 1937, in Marshalltown, IA to Jim and Annabelle (Wheelock) Crosby. He attended St. Mary’s High School, Loras College, the Minneapolis School of Art, and graduated from the University of Iowa. He came to Kansas City in 1957 when he was recruited by Hallmark Cards. Eventually, Jim left Hallmark to work for Sandy, Inc., a design firm that became a nationally-known point of purchase display company. He and two partners, Don Vernon and Ed Schmeideler, later purchased the company from Hal Sandy and ran the successful business for another 27 years. Jim’s creativity inspired promotional items for Hallmark Hall of Fame, Folgers Coffee, Maytag and many other companies. On September 21, 1957, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Veren. From that union came five children–Geoffrey, Christina, Teresa, Merritt and Todd. Jim and Virginia were best friends who enjoyed a wonderful, adventure-filled, 60-year marriage.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his son Geoffrey; his brother Tom Crosby; his mother-in-law Frances Madlin; his brother/sister-in-law Darrell and Kathy Veren, and his sister-in-law Carolyn Armstrong.

Left to cherish his memory are Virginia; his children Christina (Harold) Arens, Teresa Crosby, Merritt (Phil) Konort and Todd (Jonna) Crosby; his grandchildren: Audrey, Emery, John, Jason (Amy), Jeremy (Corinne) and Josh; his great-grandchildren: Jonathan, Logan, Asher, Jude and Calista.

Jim is also survived by his father-in-law Ken Madlin (Jewel); sister-in-law Anita Crosby; his brother Doug (Carole) Crosby; his sister Marta (Joe) Murphy; his brother-in-law Bob Armstrong and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, on Thursday, September 21. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:00 on Friday, September 22. Both services will be held at Visitation Catholic Church, 5141 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64112.

Instead of flowers, Jim would be honored if you made a donation in his name to a charity of your choosing or Harvesters, Inc., 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO 64129.

Condolences may be left for the family at www.muehlebachchapel.com