Business founder ran
for governor twice

Businessman and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Randolph Crossley loved Hawaii, "the culture, the music and the people," said daughter Meredith Young of Aloha, Ore.

Crossley had a long business career from pineapple and sugar to flowers and stamps.

He died at a retirement home in Monterey, Calif., Monday. He was 99. Crossley was born in Cupertino, Calif.

"He liked new challenges," Young said.

Crossley and his wife, Florence, moved to Hawaii in 1928. A year later, he founded Crossley Advertising Agency. From 1930 to 1934, he was president of the Hawaiian Tuna Packers, but the company plummeted during the Depression.

Crossley helped farmers in Kauai to build a cannery that later became Hawaiian Fruit Packers.

He also founded other businesses that included Crossley Contracting Co., Crossley Flowers and the Aloha Stamp Co.

From 1962 to 1965, he was president of Pacific Savings & Loan.

Crossley was also board chairman and chief executive of The Hawaii Corp., which was involved in textiles, merchandising, financing, insurance and construction.

Crossley was also president of THC Financial, a finance company, until the mid-1970s, when he gave up his job to run for governor. The Hawaii Corp. later went bankrupt.

"He was a do-er," said former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi. "He was a good person."

Crossley served in the territorial House of Representatives from Kauai in 1943 to 1945 and served as a state senator from 1959 to 1964.

In 1952, President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Crossley as governor for Hawaii, but the president appointed Samuel Wilder King after political pressure surfaced.

Crossley ran for governor in 1966 with the support of former Vice President Richard Nixon and was defeated by Gov. John A. Burns by 4,720 votes.

Eight years later, Crossley again ran for governor at age 70 and was defeated by Gov. George Ariyoshi.

Crossley retired and moved to Pebble Beach, Calif., during the late 1970s because of his wife's health, said Young.

During his later years, he was involved in consulting work for small businesses and gave lectures on Hawaii-related topics around California.

"He was sharp. He didn't forget a thing," said Young.

For many years, Crossley was working on a book on Hawaii's monarchy.

Young said she plans to have her father's ashes scattered in waters off Diamond Head, where Crossley built a house in 1931.

"He's been wanting to go back there since the day he arrived on the mainland," said Young.

Crossley is also survived by granddaughters Kimberly Higgins and Judi Schmidt and great-granddaughters Stephanie Higgins, Diana Higgins, Alexandra Schmidt and Nikki Schmidt.

Private family services will be held in Oregon.


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