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Patricia Lee Gray Jackson
January 12, 1937 ~ January 9, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
It is with great sadness that the family of Patricia Lee Gray Jackson announces her passing on January 9, 2023.
Patsy was born during the Great Depression on January 12, 1937 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. A dust bowl baby who never knew her biological father, she was adopted by Floyd Gray, a farmer, who moved with her mother Jean and their other children to Vale, Oregon in search of work. They landed eventually in Willow Creek, where Patsy and her siblings - Dan, John, Nancy, and George - all worked hard milking cows and picking potatoes on the 40 acre farm before school. Patsy was loved for her humor, intelligence, her independence, and self professed “stubborn” streak, which carried her through a lifetime of trials, adventures, and challenging health issues associated with multiple sclerosis.
She is survived by her husband Robert DeLong of Caldwell, ID, her brother George Gray of Bend, OR, her children Casey Crosby of Abilene, Texas and her daughter Tracy Crosby of Jackson, Mississippi, as well as her lifelong friend and fellow Vale HS 1954 graduate, Don Greer of Slidell, Louisiana. There are numerous other friends and relatives who were blessed to be touched by the “Patsy” experience, and who take with them the wisdom, love and caring she freely shared.
Patsy left home after graduating high school to join the Air Force, in part to look for her biological father. Her intelligence and superior typing skills landed her an assignment as an administrative specialist in the intelligence division at Hickam Air Force base in Pearl Harbor, HI, during the mid 1950s, where she used her training to attempt to find her father. At age 20, her thoughtful and well worded requests were answered in a signed letter by the FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, stating that, unfortunately, information was unable to be found. Pat’s love and respect for the armed forces and her service time remained at the highest throughout her life. She always saluted when she passed the American Flag or military images.
At Hickam, and married Tom Crosby, a naval draftsman, in 1956, and upon discharge moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Following a divorce in 1978, she moved back to the Northwest, and then to Hawaii, where she received care for MS through the VA, and discovered a love for the beach, natural, organic foods and alternative therapies. Her diligence and never-give-up attitude kept her going and mobile throughout her difficult struggle with MS. She became a Reiki Master in 2008, and was a lover of Qi Gong, Tai Chi, reflexology and all things Native American.
After leaving Hawaii she returned again to the Boise area and married a fellow Vale HS graduate Robert Delong. They enjoyed an active life traveling in their RV around the southwest, and taking frequent walks on Cottonwood Mountain. In 2019, Pat had a stroke, and eventually moved into senior living at Karcher Estates, where she remained fully independent until a sudden attack of mesenteric ischemia which led to admittance to the VA hospital in Boise, where she passed after a few days.
Both of her children were able to get to her before she passed. They arrived together, and sat with her every moment, encouraging her and showing her all the love and gratitude she deserved to feel as she passed peacefully and gently onto her next adventure.
She was a devout Christian through her son Casey’s ministerial teachings, and she enjoyed a close relationship with Christ. She was an active member in the Church of Christ wherever she landed in life.
Her favorite things were Jesus, flowers, birds, butterflies and elephants, as well as all living things. She adored her children and her family. She was a voracious reader, loved her coffee and good music. She enjoyed writing and left in her belongings many poems and essays depicting her thoughts about life, as well as saved words from other respected writers. This poem, found copied in her own handwriting, sums up perfectly the life of Pat Jackson, the “Vagabond-lady” (her online name) :
is not to arrive at the grave
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting,
“WOW!, what a ride!”
Patricia’s cremation request is being honored, with plans in the future to have her ashes scattered on Cottonwood Mountain and her favorite places in Hawaii. There will be a military marker placed in an appropriate veterans cemetery in the future. Her family requests no flowers or gifts, but if so moved, please visit The Gifted Tree at https://www.thegiftedtree.com/ product/memorial-digital-ecard-may-your-memories/. Please ONLY select the digital card option, with email to email@example.com
We leave this with thanks for you spending a moment remembering Pat. Her family and friends will never forget her.