American Veteran 04

Crosby Inman

February 14, 2022


“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 (NIV) 

The world welcomed a giant of a man on December 4, 1935. Crosby Inman was born in Robeson County to Charlie Inman and Emma Lou (Hunter) Inman.  Raised in the Inman family home, he was doted on by his grandparents, Enoch (Pete) and Emmaline (Mitchell) Inman, and his aunt and uncle, Katrina (Inman) and Robert Walters, Sr. Crosby passed away on February 14, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at home, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family. Crosby’s life was one well lived...intelligent, articulate, caring, and fun loving…he was a charmer and historian, with a deep voice that made you take notice.

Crosby grew up in Fairmont, North Carolina. His childhood was filled with much love, from lots of family and many neighborhood kids whom he called friends. Crosby attended Rosenwald High School. His quickness made him an effective point guard for the Panthers even though he was one of the smallest players on the team. Crosby was popular with his group of friends and maintained lifelong friendships with many of them. Always an excellent student, he graduated with honors in 1954 and planned to attend college.....but Uncle Sam had other plans.

In 1954, he was called to serve his country during the Korean War, enlisting at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina in the 82nd Airborne Division. During his time in service to his country, Crosby was stationed in Korea and Germany, and received the National Defense Service Medal, Parachutist Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. Crosby was especially proud of his affiliation with “Triple Nickles,” the 555th Parachute Infantry Association, Inc., which honors an all-black airborne unit of the United States Army founded in 1943. He was an active member of the Clarence H. Beavers Chapter of Queens and Long Island, NY, eventually serving as president.

He was honorably discharged in 1957 and became an “NCC Eagle (no ordinary barnyard foul)!” He graduated from North Carolina College (now NCCU) in Durham with a bachelor of arts in sociology in 1962 and the nickname “Slick”.  His newly earned degree led him north, where he was employed as a social worker by the City of New York. He was especially passionate about working with the homeless population and leading the fight for affordable housing. Crosby’s work ethic and drive helped him quickly move up the ladder, earning a master's degree in Social Work from SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island along the way. He eventually entered his second retirement in 2011, after serving as a BronxWorks Resident Director for several years.

While out one evening, he was introduced to the lovely and vivacious Dolores Yvonne Brou originally of New Orleans....he was immediately smitten and told family that she was the woman he would marry. They married in New York and became the loving parents of Debra Yvonne, Karla Denise, and Lisa Darnelle. They made their home on Long Island in Wyandanch, NY. Unfortunately, it was not in God’s plan for them to grow old together. He lost Dolores to a car accident on October 15, 1987.

Not meant to be alone, Crosby later married Marlene Thomas in New York and they became the loving parents of Devonne Danae. They made their home in St. Albans, New York. At the time of his passing, Crosby and Marlene had been married for 32 years.

At an early age, Crosby accepted Christ as his personal savior and joined First Baptist Church in Fairmont. He also attended Spring Branch Baptist Church with his grandfather and the rest of the Inmans. At the time of his death, Crosby was attending the Piedmont Church of Christ in Durham, NC, with the Inman and Pratt families.

Crosby is survived by family and many friends. This includes his wife, Marlene Inman of St. Albans, New York; daughters Debra (Lance) Johnson of Wyandanch, New York, Karla (Wilbert) Pratt of Durham, North Carolina, Lisa Inman of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Devonne Gorman of Bloomfield, New Jersey; grandsons Jaye Crosby Pratt of Durham, North Carolina, Tyler Darnell Inman of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Wesley Austin Pratt of Shreveport, Louisiana (United States Air Force), Kacey Dilon Pratt of Richmond, Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University), Korey Daniel Pratt of Raymond, Mississippi (Hinds Community College), and Jeremiah Isaiah Gorman of Bloomfield, New Jersey; granddaughters Danae Ruth Gorman and Jayla Adore Gorman, both of Bloomfield, New Jersey; cousin (sister), Octavia (Melvin) Cabey of Midland, Michigan; stepdaughters, Nasha Thomas of Maplewood, New Jersey, and Felicia Thomas of Brooklyn, New York; step-grandchildren Katarina Anne Schmitt of Fort Lauderdale, FL (Nova Southeastern University) and Maximilian Schmitt of Montclair, NJ (Montclair State University); goddaughter Melinda (Dave) M. Calloway Clark of Fayetteville, North Carolina; sisters-in-law, Patricia Matthews and Gwendolyn Brou of Beaufort, Georgia, and Cherry Walters of Fairmont, North Carolina; and a host of friends and family, including the entire Inman, Walters, Campbell, Mitchell, and Brou families. 

Crosby loved Fairmont, cherished family, and promoted education. He always reminded those around him that “Every day is a blessing,” encouraged his grandchildren and other young people to “stay focused,” and could often be seen “boogalooing” when the mood hit him. Crosby will be greatly missed by many!

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Crosby Inman, please visit our floral store.


February 18, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Hills Chapel
302 North Main Street
Fairmont, NC 28340

Graveside Service
February 19, 2022

12:00 PM
Fairmont Cemetery
State Road Hwy 130- East
Fairmont, NC 28340

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