EWPORT NEWS - Joe Lee Crosswell, 79, a soldiers' educator, teacher, mentor, would-be singer, humorist, collector, and beloved friend, died Aug. 16, 2007, at home following a series of cardio-pulmonary attacks coupled with diabetes.
Joe served in the Army from 1946 to late 1947 as an entertainment specialist. Using the GI Bill, he obtained a BA in Political Science from EastCarolinaUniversity and a MA in Education from WakeForrestCollege.
A consummate educator, Joe taught social studies and directed school plays at New Hope HS in Goldsboro, N.C., from 1954 to about 1958. During summer breaks, he worked as a waiter/entertainer in Myrtle Beach. In 1958 he joined the DOD Dependent Schools (DODDS) in Seoul, Korea, where he taught Social Studies and served as Assistant Principal at the AmericanHigh School. Around 1967 he began his career in the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) at CampHowze in the demilitarized zone and later transferred to FortMeade as a Project Transition Officer. In 1975, he became Deputy Education Officer for Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at FortMonroe and inherited the Advanced Individual Training-Preparatory Training (AIT-PT). He helped develop the Army Apprenticeship Program, Army ACE Registry Transcript Service, Basic Skills Education Program and the Job Skills Education Program (JSEP). As a mentor to many education professionals that passed through HQ TRADOC and later rose to high level positions, he led them to look at all actions through the lens of common sense. Joe was fondly looked upon as an ACE among ACES, an energetic, witty, Carolina gentleman who worked hard and played hard especially Bridge and Hearts. On the side he wrote cartoon captions for New Yorker, and other magazines. He retired in 1990 after more than 34 years of dedicated, exceptional government service.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., on April 5, 1928, to Joe Lee and Carrie Jeanette Crosswell, Joe is survived by his sister, Pat; his niece, Tina; and cousin, Maggie, in Charlotte, N.C.; his 'foster son,' Brian Durham in Newport News; a host of friends and his loving dog Aggie.
A celebration of his life will be held at Saturday, Sept. 29, at The First Baptist Church in Newport News located at 12716 Warwick Blvd., next to the PeninsulaCemetery. A Gathering will follow at a location to be announced later.