Forward-thinking businessman Richard Crosbie lived life to the full
Published 17/11/2015 | 00:00
Local businessman Richard Crosbie, of Ivy Lane, in Coolcotts, Wexford, sadly passed away on Thursday, October 22, aged 77, after a short illness.
He was born on Saturday, August 6, 1938, in Davitt Road North, in Wexford town, and was the second of six children born to Tony and Nelly Crosbie.
He went to school in the Tech, in Wexford, and developed an interest in mechanics.
Upon leaving school he worked as an apprentice in Boggan's Garage on the Quay in Wexford. While working there on June 19, 1954, he heard a young girl calling for help on the Quayfront opposite and went to see what it was. A seven-year-old boy had fallen in and was drowning several yards from shore.
Although he was wearing overalls and heavy boots, he dived straight in and managed to bring the boy to safety. He received a citation and certificate from Wexford Corporation.
In 1956 he got the chance to join the merchant navy as an apprentice engineer, and went to sea. During one of his shore leaves back home in Wexford, he met Maureen Flanagan at a dance. They married on June 9, 1962 in Rowe Street church in Wexford, and bought a house in Upper John Street. He went back to sea as second engineer, and some time later his ship was caught in a storm in the North Irish Sea when the engine seized up and they were adrift. Using pulleys and chains, he managed to restart the engine, and was promoted to first engineer on the back of it.
On May 23, 1963 he came home from sea for good. For the next two years he worked as maintenance man in Celtic Linen, and then joined his brother Eugene in Crosbie Brothers Autobody Works, in Enniscorthy, with them both doing the panel beating.
They were later joined by their brother Sean who was brought in to do the books. For two years Richard hitched to and from Enniscorthy every day, until he could afford his own car. In 1968, he bought a premises at Newtown and opened Crosbie Brothers in Wexford.
He was later joined by his youngest sister Phil who worked in the office, and she's is still there today. The business is still going strong and providing employment for many including his children and some of his grand children. In 1977 he bought a house in Ivy Lane in Coolcotts and lived there since.
In business he was very forward thinking, but he was also very adept at building lasting relationships with his customers. Although the company has worked for hundreds if not thousands of clients over the years, a handful of well-known Wexford companies trusted him with all their business, a fact that he really appreciated.
In his 40s he took up golf, and became a member in both Wexford and Rosslare Golf Clubs. As with anything he did, he put his all into it and made many great friends and even won a few prizes, getting his handicap down to 13 at his best. He loved a flutter on the horses, and in his later years began investing in race horses with his nephews, the O'Connors.
Family came first with Richard, and extended family were very important to him. He put a lot of time and effort into maintaining links with various branches of the family, including the Murphys, the Crosbies, in Belfast and Derry, the O'Connors, in Enniskillen and his wife's family the Flanagans and Finns, in Roscommon and Mayo. He was particularly fond of trips to the West, and Maureen's home town of Ballyhaunis, and he and Maureen would get away there as often as they could.
He was never really sick his whole life, and he lived life to the full. He was the life and soul of the party, and his party piece (a mish mash of songs he put together himself) has gone down in history.
He will be sadly missed by his wife Maureen, children Billy, Tony, Richard, Terence, Eugene and Ann Marie, sisters Marie and Phil, brothers Eugene and Sean, son and daughter in laws, grandchildren, great granddaughter, extended family, friends and neighbours.