A humble, patient and inspiring man, Copley Enos Crosby died at home on Aug. 17, 2020, beloved by family and many true friends.
Born Feb. 15, 1940, in Reno, Nev., to John Crosby Jr. and Ruth Enos Crosby, Copley grew up on his family’s cattle ranch in the Carson Valley. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. A lifelong learner, his formal education included an English degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in Mathematics from San Francisco State. He was a resident of San Francisco for the past 50 years.
Copley was an avid traveler, driven by his curiosity and sense of discovery. He spent the better part of a year in Australia, paying his expenses by driving a taxi in Sydney for a while. He especially enjoyed extended travels to Baja in Mexico, exploring indigenous cave dwellings on mule-borne archeological expeditions. Other destinations included Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Uzbekistan, Iceland, Japan, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe soon after The Wall came down. Traveling through these countries by car, RV or motor bike, led to colorful and engaging experiences with the residents.
One of Copley’s prevailing passions was aviation. He was a qualified private pilot, spending many hours flying throughout California. One of his early courtship experiences with his future wife Marianne was a birds-eye view of San Francisco. He served for many years as a docent at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, where he made many friendships. Later in life Copley developed a fascination with the history of steam railroads of Western Nevada, especially in and around his beloved childhood home in the Carson Valley.
Perhaps most importantly to him, Copley valued time spent with friends. While any excuse for comradery would suffice, he especially enjoyed attending opera, ballet, theatre and San Francisco Giants baseball games. In addition, Copley was a devoted patron and supporter of the performing arts, including the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet.
Soon after his arrival in California as a young man, Copley had the occasion to visit the Hyampom Valley in Trinity County. It was love at first sight. He returned shortly thereafter, purchased property and built a rustic cabin, which was his vacation retreat for many decades. His love for Hyampom was only exceeded by his love for his wife, Marianne.
In 1986, Copley and Marianne purchased a large, older home in San Francisco. Together they hosted friends to many delightful dinner parties, the annual Feast of The Epiphany being a beautiful tradition. The tables at these parties were often enhanced by Copley’s elaborate, beautiful, and eccentric table décor. The house also provided Copley endless opportunities to engage his DIY and creative home improvement skills. Copley and Marianne also hosted several visiting graduate students over the years in their home.
In addition to his acerbic wife, he leaves a nephew, Brian (and Ginger) Markham of Columbus, Ga., and two grand-nieces, Romi and Rachel. His sister, Julia, pre-deceased him.