Cover photo for Carolyn Crosley's Obituary
Carolyn Crosley Profile Photo
1940 Carolyn 2020

Carolyn Crosley

March 30, 1940 — November 26, 2020

Carolyn was born March 30, 1940, at the recently opened Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Carolyn's mother, Margaret, traveled south to Anchorage from Willow, a whistle-stop on the Alaska Railroad, population 15, where she lived with her husband, Minor Roop.  Even as a baby Carolyn was a beautiful child and was doted on by her mother and people who lived nearby.  Carolyn's parents moved from Missouri in 1935 locating first in Matanuska Valley and then to Willow.  Minor Roop drove a cat train delivering supplies to several gold mines located in the Chugach Mountains east of Willow. The family moved stateside with the advent of WWII and then back to Anchorage in 1950 where Minor purchased and operated a coal mine located in the Matanuska River gorge.  By that time, Minor had stopped driving a Cat and turned to flying piper cubs 45 miles to work landing on the side of a 500-foot strip of land carved on the side of a mountain at the coal mine site. Several years later oil was discovered south of Anchorage on the Kenai peninsula and eliminating the need for coal in Anchorage.  Minor purchased the Anchorage Piper Aircraft franchise which was located across 5th avenue from their house on Sitka and 5th avenue.  They later moved to a new home on Romig Hill three city blocks from the new High School where Carolyn graduated in 1958.  She graduated near the top of her class of 500 students.  She excelled in all things she attempted.  Her sister Meredith said that Carolyn practiced flute five hours a day.  In high school, she was first chair flute, leader of the single batons, editor of the yearbook, and an excellent pianist. She was an accomplished dancer and well-liked by her fellow students as it was always apparent that she liked them and was proud that they were a part of her life.

She attended the University of Washington her freshmen year and then chose to transfer to Smith College in Massachusetts despite her father’s strong urging she attend the Butte School of Mines. Her friends understood that she would be more comfortable in a concert hall than in the bowels of a mine. She graduated in 1962. Years later she attended classes in Seattle and was awarded a master’s degree in taxation. During her career with Perkins Coie, Carolyn was instrumental in advancing the concept of a “paralegal” in the practice of law.

She moved to Seattle in 1967 and worked for Perkins, Coie for 35 years. In 1984 she married her high school boyfriend, Britton Crosley, and moved back to Anchorage. She knew his strong admiration of her had never faded. He had four children, from a previous marriage, who she came to love. The four, Margy, Anchorage; Jennifer, Eugene; Daniel, Wasilla, AK; and Katherine, Seattle; learned to love one of the most important persons in their lives. They loved Carolyn mightily after she became part of their world.

Carolyn leaves behind her sister, Meredith, and brother in law Don Roose of Bainbridge Island and their daughters and son in laws Morgan and Nick Rohrbach of Bainbridge Island and Whitney and John Anderson of Seattle. Also left behind are dear to her Anchorage Girls Scout, with whom she has been close friends for over 70 years now, Ray Hinchey Kozlowski, Ann Peterson Framehill, Valerie Broze Bystrom, Elaine Stolt Waters, Margorie Parkins.

Carolyn passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving Day 2020 from complications of Alzheimer’s.

You are encouraged to share memories and pictures of Carolyn on this Tribute page.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carolyn Crosley, please visit our flower store.


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