Medina Mayor Tom Crosby is receiving an outpouring of support from family and friends following his recent diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.
As of Saturday, March 30, 180 people had left messages for him on his Caring Bridge website. The messages talked about a character trait of Crosby’s that can serve as an essential tool on his future path — determination. People began writing to him in early March as soon as they received word of his illness.
The news stunned friends who know him as a physically fit senior hockey player and man who enjoys camping and canoeing.
His wife Ellie said in her March 30 journal entry that he had completed the third round of chemotherapy in a clinical trial. He was taking daily walks around the family farm and able to do some work. Sap was starting to run in the Crosby maple trees, and the family was looking forward to collecting enough to start a fire and cook some syrup.
Around Medina City Hall, the fate of this year’s maple syrup competition between Crosby and Public Works Director Steve Scherer remained to be seen. Winning a State Fair award for his maple syrup has helped Crosby in his informal local competition.
And City Councilor Liz Weir appeared rattled as she ran the March 19 City Council meeting in Crosby’s absence — an absence that was not explained publicly.
City Administrator Scott Johnson said Friday, March 29, that Crosby hoped to be at the April 2 City Council meeting to describe his situation. Crosby had told Johnson that he wanted to continue as Medina Mayor as long as his health permits.
Crosby is the second long-time mayor of a western suburb to contend with cancer and to vow that he would continue to serve his city as long as possible. Mayor K.J. McDonald, of Watertown, wielded his gavel at City Council meetings until just before he died last fall.
Tom Crosby, 74, has lived with his wife Ellie in Medina for over 40 years. The couple has raised four children. A graduate of Yale Law School, he is in private practice as an attorney after retiring as a partner in the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm. At City Council meetings he has spoken about his farm near Wolsfeld Woods and raising hay.
His record of public service for Medina includes serving on the City Council from 1977 through 1984 and serving as chair of the Planning Commission in 2007. He has served as Medina’s Mayor since 2007. Voters re-elected him last fall. He regularly contributes his mayor’s salary to the city in support of its internship program.
A member of the Pillsbury family, Crosby has continued his family’s legacy of public service — not only in Medina, but also in the Twin Cities area. For example, he has served on the board of directors of Twin Cities United Way, the Walker Art Center and the Lake Robina Board.