Resident Spotlight: Bill & Marilyn Crosby 

The Crosbys


Unquestionably, Marilyn and Bill Crosby will leave a strong legacy as both have achieved much in their personal and professional lives. They have reared two sons, Chris and Matthew, who are productive citizens, and devoted their lives toward their families and helping others. 

The Crosbys are typical of many couples in the South: one born in Arkansas, the other in Mississippi, then to Memphis, Tennessee, to start their adult lives. However, to interact with this couple, you will find they are atypical in their personalities. Although both have the same persona of warmth and friendliness, Bill is more reserved, whereas Marilyn is “bubbly” and enthusiastic in her interactions with others. Both personalities have blended well, and they remain happily married since 1965. 

Marilyn Meador’s life began in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. However, her parents divorced when she was seven; her mother moved with Marilyn and her brother to El Dorado, Arkansas. Before Marilyn’s senior year in high school, her mother became ill, and it was necessary for Marilyn and Johnny to move to Helena, Arkansas, to live with their father. 

Despite a disruptive life, Marilyn thrived, making good grades and lasting friendships wherever she lived. In high school, she played French horn and was voted most friendly her senior year. Marilyn always knew she wanted to be a nurse, but she also wanted to have an opportunity to experience college. However, her father had other ideas, so she applied and was accepted into the prestigious Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Memphis. The requirements and restrictions there, according to Marilyn, “were much like living in a convent.” Marilyn continues, “We were treated well by Baptist: everything was provided for us, and we were taken on outings and given nice gifts at Christmas. Classes were difficult, but I loved my instructors and classmates.” 

Following graduation, Marilyn immediately began employment at Baptist Hospital, relieving the head nurse on the Charity Unit. Her entire professional life was spent at Baptist working all services, and at one time becoming the youngest head nurse there. 

As a registered nurse, Marilyn set a good example with her warm, tender care of patients and employees. She retired after 35 years, but, soon began work part-time in the Baptist Out-Patient Pavilion. She worked there an additional 15 years: a total of 50 years giving nursing care! Marilyn says that the individualized care and the wonderful co-workers made this one of her most rewarding experiences. While working part-time, Marilyn enrolled in the nursing program at Union University, earning a B.S. in Nursing. 

When Baptist Memorial Hospital celebrated its 50 year anniversary, Marilyn was asked to write an article about “the early days.” The following are some excerpts from the article, The Way It Was: “Nurses have a special bond: no one can understand what is involved in nursing unless you are one. As soon as I started working in the hospital, I knew I had chosen the right career. It was great to see how my efforts could help and encourage the patients. Few professions can provide the satisfaction that nursing does. When things are difficult, the nurse must maintain the empathy and drive to provide the best care possible. As a profession, nursing is still a high calling in every sense of the word.” 

Bill Crosby was born in Greenville, Mississippi, but Bill and his three siblings spent most of their youth in Indianola, Mississippi, where their father owned a home appliance store. Their father, an entrepreneur, pioneered in the cable television industry. This venture “allowed” Bill to spend his last year in Indianola, climbing poles to hang TV cable and crawling under houses where he met all kinds of vermin. 

While in school, from seventh grade until graduation, Bill played football and whatever sport was in season. He also played football at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. There, he received a B.S. in Sociology and, according to Bill, graduated “Thankya Laude.” 

Crosby's wedding
The Crosbys 1965

Bill’s first job was with Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Headquarters. The remaining years of his professional life were spent in property management and construction marketing: first for First Tennessee Bank, and then with various construction and hotel companies. After retirement, he was once again lured in to work 19 additional years for a renovation contractor in New Jersey. Although travel was involved, Bill maintained an office based in Memphis. 

Marilyn and Bill met at a party given by the girl who was dating Bill. Not surprisingly, Bill realized he would rather date Marilyn. Bill says it took him a year to convince Marilyn to marry him. In addition to their two wonderful sons and daughters-in-law, they have three grandchildren with which they enjoy much “grandparenting time!’ 

The Crosbys have traveled extensively, including Europe and the Holy Lands; some of it was in missionary work. They have been active members of Christ Methodist Church since 1971. Bill has served in several capacities there: as Chair of Church Council and Trustees, and assisting in establishing the Emmaus Walk in England. Bill has also coached various youth sports, including soccer, which he has never played! 

Marilyn and Bill have been at Kirby Pines for two years. Pleased with all the amenities and activities here, both enjoy the exercise programs, and Bill has developed an interest in acrylic painting. They are also happy to be here with about 20 members of their Sunday School Class. They are a great addition to our Kirby Pines community. 

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident of Kirby Pines.