Audra Crosby, a long-time Friday Harbor resident, passed away peacefully in Tacoma on Jan. 5, 2009. She was surrounded by family at the time.
Her beloved husband, Lance, preceded her by almost two years, having passed away in Tacoma on March 26, 2007. They had been married for 67 years at the time of his passing.
Audra and Lance fell in love with the San Juans in the early 1950s, shortly after they acquired the Mardo, their first boat. Lance’s dream was to buy Brown Island and use it as a base of operations for his dream business: delivering mail among the islands with the Mardo. The dream faltered because the visionary bankers of the day were not so foolish as to loan $18,000 toward the purchase of a small island!
Upon retirement in 1982, the Crosbys moved to Friday Harbor, where they threw themselves into all manner of activities around their home and in the community. Lance launched into serious gardening, specializing in berries, fruit and salad greens. He became a master gardener, holding court at the Saturday Farmers Market in an ongoing effort to identify and punish garden predators of all sorts. He and the county agent headed out in Lance’s boat from time to time, carrying their assault on garden vermin to other islands in the San Juan group.
Lance also became a mainstay in the San Juan Island unit of the Power Squadron, a boating safety and education organization. He took every class and then taught every class the Power Squadron offered, becoming the island’s first “Full Bridge Navigator.”
Both Lance and Audra were involved in amateur theater. Lance built sets, acted in a few shows, and served on the Community Theatre board. Audra played piano during the rehearsal of some shows. She also played the organ at the Christian Science Church and was very active in the Study Club. From the perspective of kids and grandkids, Audra was at her best when dispensing financial advice while serving triple-chocolate cake and Lance was at his best when telling stories while scooping the ice cream!
Lance and Audra found time each fall to get their Hawaii fix. Every summer found them cruising the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands aboard the Wynsum, a boat Lance and Nourdine Jensen designed together. It was the last boat built by Albert Jensen and Sons Shipyard.
Both Lance and Audra asked that memorial services not be held after their passing. It was their express wish, however, that their last remains be cast into “some fast-moving water,” so you may catch a glimpse of Mardo drifting quickly through Cattle Pass on a sunny day this summer. The crew will include their children, Beth and Don MacLaren, Jerry and Kathryn Crosby, and Sandi and Jeff Goldie, as well as all available grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
— Family of Lance and Audra Crosby