CLASS OF 1945
Paul Crossman Jr. was born April 18, 1927 and graduated from Rice Avenue Union High School in 1945. In his freshman year he was class president, a member of the Science Club, Student Senate, and played saxophone in the band. As a sophomore he was class president again, and also in the band. As a junior he was a member of the Hi-Y Club. In his senior year he was again a member of the Hi-Y Club, was the sports editor on the yearbook staff, and had a part in the senior class play. His classmates remembered him as “a he-man type. He knows his lessons, loves his sports, and excels in all”. Paul played football and basketball all 4 years at RAUHS and lettered in those sports 3 times each. He was leading scorer on both teams which were Western League Champions several years running and was co-captain of both football and basketball teams his senior season. Today’s induction into the Hive of Fame stands as one of his crowning achievements. Another testimony to his importance in history of RAUHS/Girard High School is his likeness being included in the mural on the cafeteria wall at Elk Valley Elementary School. He is under consideration for induction into the Erie County Hall of Fame as well.
After completing his senior season of football, Paul’s father received a recruitment letter from Penn State asking Paul Jr. to join the football team. Paul declined, perhaps because he was the only son and felt needed on the family fruit farm, or just because he didn’t want to leave the Girard area. He entered the Edinboro Teacher’s College and while there played on the basketball team. He also played basketball for an American Legion team.
Paul left college and helped his father, Paul Crossman, Sr., run the fruit farm on Route 18. He eventually met Janet Munson and married her on January 2, 1954. They had 3 daughters, April, Jill and Lynn, who all graduated from college. Paul Jr. purchased the farm around 1960 and was a member of Keystone and Welch’s National Grape Co-op. He was the local Grange Master, worked part time at the Marx Toy Company, Town Square Industries, and for Girard Township. He was also the past president of the Girard Band Boosters. The farm was sold in 1998 and he and Janet moved to a small home on Riley Drive in Girard.
Paul was especially active in the Girard Methodist Church. He was a lifelong member there, served as the head usher, and was also the Sunday School Superintendent.
Paul had other interests besides being personally involved in sports. He often entered his fruits in the Albion Fair and won several blue ribbons. He attended many Girard games, particularly basketball. He also watched football and basketball practices and was known for handing out apples to the athletes. He enjoyed listening to rock and roll of the late 50’s and early 60’s while working in his orchards and vineyard. Paul and Janet and their friends attended Broadway shows in Warren, Ohio, from time to time, as Paul loved music. In later years he watched all types of sports on television. Paul was also the main caregiver to Janet for many years until his own health failed. Eventually their home was sold and both he and Janet moved into Manchester Presbyterian Homes. Paul passed away March 21, 2012. Janet still resides there today.