Howard Utah Crossley was born December 13, 1932. He passed away quietly at his home in Torrance, California, with his family nearby on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at the age of 76. Howard was 6th of 9 children born to Roy and Leata Crossley. He was born on a farm outside of Seneca, Missouri, and raised on a farm in Oklahoma. His nickname was "Cotton" not because they grew cotton on the farm, but because he had beautiful white-blonde hair. He lived on the farm until he went to Business School. He served his country with distinction in the United States Navy; first with active duty from 1953 to 1957, then with continued service as a reserve, until 1961. He met Irene Kosmetatos while working for Foster Wheeler, constructing a power plant in Wisconsin. The two immediately fell in love and were married shortly thereafter on July 26, 1959. They moved to San Diego, California, but jobs were scarce, and after 6 months, they decided to move to Los Angeles, California. There, Howard secured a job as Payroll Supervisor with Coast Building Maintenance Company, a position he would hold for 35 years, through numerous changes in ownership. Howard retired in 1998 from Pedus Service Company, a large, international company which was the eventual successor to Coast. He stayed on with Pedus for 2 more years following his retirement, until a suitable replacement for him could be found. Howard and Irene had two beautiful daughters, Carolyn and Elaine. The family lived in Lennox, California from 1963 until 1975, when they moved to Torrance, California, the current family home. Howard was known as a faithful and loyal servant to his family, friends and fellow parishioners at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach, California. He served the community in a variety of capacities and was a regular smiling face at the Pastries booth at the annual South Bay Greek Festival. He was once referred to as, "the hardest working man" at the church, but Howard, ever humble, never wanted to be recognized or rewarded for his many efforts. Howard had a tremendous host of friends in the community. Just this past July, he and Irene assembled these friends together to join them in celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Howard is remembered by all for having an unforgettable laugh, despite being rather soft spoken. He was often playful, with a sort of childlike quality, and was always happy when interacting with children. He was also thought of as a handsome, kind, charming patient and gentle man, who loved his wife and children dearly. He enjoyed gardening, particularly growing tomatoes. He was a true sports enthusiast and an avid Los Angeles Lakers fan. He is survived by his loving wife, Irene Crossley of Torrance, CA, daughter Carolyn Crossley of Torrance, CA, and daughter Elaine (Ronnie) Wade of Redondo Beach, CA, and brothers Ralph Crossley, Merle Crossley, Dale Crossley and Bruce Crossley, and sister, Phyllis West. He is preceded in death by Mother, Leata Crossley, and Father, Roy Crossley, brother Harold Crossley, sisters, Doris Long and Lyla Stoffel. A gathering of family and friends will be held at Rice Mortuary Chapel on Thursday, October 15, 2009, from 5:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. with a Trisagion at 7:00 P.M. The funeral will be held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church on Friday, October 16, 2009, at 11:00 A.M. The Makaria ("Mercy Meal") will be served from 12:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. Burial will follow at Green Hills Mortuary Park in Rancho Palos Verdes. Flowers may be sent to Rice Mortuary prior to 3:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 15, 2009. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church. Please use this website, to send the family messages, share memories, or obtain directions to the services.

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  1. Our deepest sympathy to the beloved Crossley family. Howard’s devoted presence at Saint Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church will be greatly missed by all who knew him. “May his Memory be Eternal”

  2. Irene, Carolyn, Elaine and Ron – Needless to say we both are saddended by Howard’s passing. We shall miss his smile and his presence. This gentle human being was a part of all our lives. May his memory be eternal. Gus and Helen

  3. Dear Mrs. Crossley, Carolyn, Elaine & Ron, Please accept our deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved husband and father. Your courage and faith have shone in the last few months and we pray that God will grant you more to sustain you. with love The MacLean Family Boston

  4. The quiet gentleman. Such a long time friend. Always there when he was needed. We shall all miss him. May his memory be eternal.

  5. Carolyn, My thoughts are with you on this day. I know your father was a good man and brought much happiness to you and your family. Hope you will remember the joy he brought to your life today and continues to bring through his memories. With sincere love, Darcel

  6. Always a gentleman, always smiling, with an unmistakable aura of kindness. Our deepest condolences to Irene, Carolyn and Elaine. May his memory be eternal. Bill and Connie Semos

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