I was digging through my files the other day and came across an old note given to me as a reminder to call Betty Croshaw about upcoming November IWCI meeting. The message was dated June 1, 1994. There are no words that adequately describe what Betty Croshaw meant to me and so many of us. I think of so many moments with her that illustrate her various interests and passions. I have pictures in my mind of the moments with her that best describe who she is to me and, I suspect, to many others. Beyond her active participation with IWCI and similar functions, she was a vital part of those things that were most important to her. She looked forward to gathering people in her home for tea and discussion at the beginning of each new year. She was eager to show off her garden or some new project Don was working on around the house. Although she was comfortable in her native rural surroundings, she could just as easily get you caught up in her latest adventure to England or New Mexico to see her friends. As important as work and the insurance industry was to her, she was just as eager to talk about her latest photos and pictures she had gotten accepted into the State Fair that year. She also shared her love for her family, lives of her children, and her dear cats.
Betty acknowledged the importance of hard work but made a point to recognize “good” work. She valued people, particularly those affected by injuries and misfortune. Although people and relationships were important to her, she was especially drawn to people who “really cared” about those in need. She valued education and learning and created opportunities for people to learn. Her desire to cultivate these organizations that offered opportunities for learning is part of her legacy with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Institute. Her creativity and desire to try new things were often unrecognized in her professional life. However, her past work is a reminder to look beyond ourselves and consider ways to make each other better. As is often the case, we are often better people because of those who have gone before us.
Perhaps Betty’s greatest impact on so many of us was her desire to mentor and to make sure we really understood how to take care of others who were injured in the course of their work. In Homer’s classic the Odyssey, we first learn of Mentor and what it means to care for and teach others. Betty was truly a mentor. She cared enough to teach us, to share her life with us, and to make sure we will continue to be better. She was a classic. I will forever be grateful for Betty Croshaw’s mentoring and care.