Julia “Pat” Crow
November 25, 1929 – March 7, 2021
Pat Crow peacefully made her transition to eternal life on a Sunday morning during the Lenten season. She was at home, with her children by her side. No doubt all of this would have pleased her.
She is survived by her son Chris Crow of Nevada City, CA; daughter and son-in-law Julie and Wayne Cromwell of Kings Beach, CA; grandchildren John and Erica Cromwell of Ramona, CA, and Mike & Michelle Cromwell of Spring Creek, NV, and great-grandchildren Ashton, Caitlin, Cara and Courtney.
A celebration of her life will be held on September 13, 2021. If you would like to make an offering in her memory, please consider a donation to the Pat Crow Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Incline Village, Nevada (sftahoe.org), or to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee (stjude.org.)
Born Julia Abigail Mahoney, she was known as “Pat” to one and all. She loved to tell the story of being quarantined as an infant (due to a measles outbreak) with her mother, also named Julia. The family doctor, to avoid confusion between the two Julias, said “ah, she’s a lovely Irish lass; I’ll call her Patricia!” She was Pat from that day forward.
The daughter of Irish immigrants, Pat grew up in the Noe Valley of San Francisco in a largely Irish-Catholic community. Her Catholic faith was developed early and was her guiding light throughout her life. She was especially devoted to Mother Mary and to St. Jude. She attended St. James Elementary school and Immaculate Conception Academy, where she made childhood friendships that would last a lifetime. She attended San Francisco City College before gaining employment as a secretary for the Sherman-Clay Company. She assumed that she would be a life-long city girl…then fate stepped in.
In February of 1957, Pat joined some friends for a weekend in North Lake Tahoe. They stayed at the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay. One night, David Crow, the Biltmore’s Cage Manager and Entertainment Director, was filling in for a bartender. Pat’s group had gathered at David’s bar…and the sparks flew! After a whirlwind romance, Pat and David were married at Mission San Rafael just 3 months later.
Another of Pat’s favorite stories recounted the birth of their son, Christopher Jude, in April of 1958. David was in San Francisco on business when a surprise blizzard closed the roads from California into the Tahoe basin. With her husband stuck outside the basin, Pat went into labor. She called a cab. On the way to the hospital in Reno, the “Truckee Shortcut” (Hwy. 267) was closed due to the weather. Pat and her cabdriver were traveling on Highway 89 between Tahoe City and Truckee when an avalanche closed that road also. They pulled over at a nearby ski resort, and Chris came into the world at Deer Park Lodge, known today as the River Ranch! Their daughter, another Julia, was born (less dramatically) in 1960. Sadly, David died in 1967. Pat never chose to remarry.
Following David’s death, Pat was working at the fledgling county library located within the Incline Elementary School when she learned of a job opening in the school office. She began what would be a lifetime career in the Washoe County school system. Beginning as a part-time secretary in the elementary school, she later worked as a secretary at Incline High School. In 1981, she was pleased and proud to be a member of the staff that opened Incline Middle School, where she worked as principal’s secretary until her retirement in 1992. Not one to sit around, after “retiring” Pat worked for a few years as a substitute secretary in schools throughout the district. When her son mentioned a part-time position in the Human Resources Department at the Cal Neva Lodge, just a short walk from her Crystal Bay home, Pat took the job and found another outlet for her wonderful people skills.
Pat was always busy and involved. When her children were young, she was the mom who was at every event, shuttling carloads of kids to every track meet, ski race, baseball game, bake sale, you name it…she was there. She loved the company of her “kitty cats” and she delighted in the parade of her son’s rescue dogs that she’d helped choose from the pound. She was passionate about San Francisco sports, having attended S.F. Seals and 49er games in her youth. (While watching games on TV or listening on the radio, David, a calm and soft-spoken man, would often point out to his more volatile wife: “Pat, you’ll need to yell louder, they’re in San Francisco!”) More recently, she enjoyed trips with her children to San Francisco for Giants games, with the occasional museum or show thrown in. A few years ago, she fell in love with Steph Curry, and she never missed a Warriors game on TV…unless it coincided with “Jeopardy”! She enjoyed many hobbies, and she seldom did anything half-way. Friends came annually to enjoy the magic of her Christmas Village. Beginning in the 1980s with a single house that she’d painted, ‘The Village’ grew to include over 150 houses and was complete with streetlights, trees, and people, all of whom had backstories…she was years ahead of “Peytonville!”
Pat loved to travel, often with her family or friends, especially with Margaret Hogan, her friend from 2nd grade! Her journeys took her to most U.S. states and to more than 25 countries, and included exotic ports like Russia and Tibet, as well as several trips to her beloved Ireland. Many of her travel pictures, taken with a cheap instamatic camera, are beautiful works of art.
Pat found her most satisfying niche in service to her community. As a founding member of Incline’s St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, she was instrumental in forming the parish’s first Ladies’ Guild. She continued to serve as a volunteer for the church she loved until just a couple of years ago. In addition, she served in a volunteer capacity as the secretary for the original Children’s Cabinet in Incline Village, as a reading tutor at Incline Elementary school, as a Project MANA food distributor, and, for many years, as a respite caregiver for Tahoe Forest Hospice. She genuinely loved people, and she had a gift for getting them to open up and tell her their stories, their joys, and their woes.
Pat was defined by her love for her family, her faith, her pride in her Irish heritage, her joyful attitude, her compassion for others and her almost child-like wonder and curiosity about the world around her. She was beloved by all those who knew her. She never encountered a stranger; to Pat everyone was just a friend she hadn’t met yet.
Pat made the world a better place.
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