Edwin L. 'Ned' Crosby
Crosby, Edwin L. "Ned" age 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 29, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. His health declined suddenly, after six years of successfully managing multiple myeloma. Ned was a bright, kind, much beloved individual. Those who knew him will remember him for his thirst for knowledge and truth, his passion and compassion, energy and vibrancy, curiosity and keen intelligence. He pursued his work on democracy tirelessly. He was a storyteller and loved playing with and making up stories for his daughters, the children of friends and later his grandchildren. He enjoyed engaging people, speaking foreign languages and conversing on a multitude of topics. He will be remembered for doing puzzles, swimming, skating, sailing, skiing, biking, traveling, all with his wife, Pat, and with friends. He loved classical music and was always interested in history, especially in his own family's. One project he particularly enjoyed was writing a book about his mother. Ned was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 4, 1936, the youngest of three children born to Franklin Muzzy Crosby, Jr. and Elizabeth (Lane) Crosby. He graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts in 1954, and attended Yale University before serving in the US Army in Germany. While overseas he met his first wife, Rosemarie Haag, with whom he had his wonderful daughters, Lisa and Caroline. In 1976, he married the love of his life, Patricia Benn. Together they enjoyed many life adventures, including memorable trips, living in France and spending time with their close friends, daughters and their six cherished grandchildren. Minneapolis was always Ned's home, but beginning in 1998, he and Pat also lived part-time in Port Townsend, WA, to be near family, as well as to work in Washington and Oregon. Ned studied psychology, social ethics and political science at the University of Minnesota, earning his Ph.D. in political science in 1973. In the process of writing his thesis, he invented the Citizens Jury process, one of the most innovative and widely used methods of deliberative democracy introduced in the 20th century. The Citizens Jury process has been used throughout the world. To develop that work, Ned founded the Center for New Democratic Processes (formerly the Jefferson Center) in Minnesota. He became increasingly concerned about the divisions in the country and believed strongly that multiple Citizens Juries, or a larger process, a Citizen Assembly, modeled on the principles of the CJ, could address this problem. Participants of Citizens Juries praised the process highly, as a true experience in democracy and "transformational." Ned and Pat worked together for over a decade to establish the Citizens Initiative Review (CIR) in Oregon as an official part of the state's electoral system. To pursue and continue this work, they co-founded Healthy Democracy. The CIR has been widely acknowledged, as in the March 15, 2019 issue of Science in an article titled "The Crisis of Democracy and the Science of Deliberation." The story of this work is told in Ned's 2003 book Healthy Democracy. Ned also worked on a number of other issues related to justice and human rights. He worked on the Soul Force in north Minneapolis in 1968. He helped establish Operation De Novo in Hennepin County and served on boards, including the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society, the Carolyn Foundation and the African American Institute. His work with the Latin American Working Group, which coordinated legislative efforts to oppose terrorism and promote peace in Central America, and with the Peace Committee of the St. Luke Presbyterian Church, played a major role in bringing a negotiated peace to El Salvador. Ned is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia Benn, daughters Lisa Crosby and Caroline (Michael) Walker, grandchildren Rinnah Becker, Ella Becker, Jay Crosby, Reed Barry, Matt Barry, Dakotah Walker and brother Franklin (Gisela) Muzzy Crosby III, as well as nieces, nephews and many cousins. Ned is preceded in death by his parents, losing his father when Ned was one, his beloved son-in-law Paul Becker, who consulted with Ned and shared a passion for deliberative democracy, his sister, Elizabeth C. (Betsy) and brother-in-law Harrison R. (Jim) Johnston Jr. and nephew Herrick Johnston. Ned loved life, his family, his friends and democracy. His Ph.D. thesis was appropriately entitled "Concern for All." A Celebration of Life service will be held on August 19, 2 pm, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in the Snyder building. Memorials preferred to the Center for New Democratic Processes, St. Paul, MN or Healthy Democracy, Portland, OR. No flowers please.
Published on June 19, 2022
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