George O. Cross Jr. (1917 - 2014)

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George O. Cross, Jr.

George O. Cross, Jr., 96, of Oxford passed away Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at Creasy Springs Health Campus in Lafayette. George was born on June 12, 1917 near Somerville, TN to the late George O. Cross, Sr. and Mary Edna Bailia Cross. When he was three years old his family moved to Oxford. George was a 1935 graduate of Oxford High School. On September 28, 1941 he married Jean Gwin. She preceded him in death on May 12, 1999.

George kept very busy with his many interests and hobbies. He enjoyed gun smithing, gardening, wood working and making wine. He grew all of the fruit to make his many varieties of wine. George was an avid reader; especially of books about history. He felt that a lot could be learned from history that could be applied to the present and future. He loved to share stories about his ancestry.

In 1935, George attended Purdue University on a scholarship in Electrical Engineering. His scholarship ran out after two years. He worked for Kirby Risk, A&P Tea Company and Purdue maintenance but was not able to continue with his education at Purdue. He was able to obtain a scholarship from the Illinois Institute of Technology and received a degree from there. He returned to Purdue University in the early 1960's to receive additional training in the area of electrical engineering.

George joined the National Guard while he was at Purdue. He received his discharge after four years with the National Guard. In 1942 he was called up for the draft but was not called to active duty until the fall of 1943, when he joined the Coast Guard. He went to Boot Camp at Curtis Bay, Maryland. He was in several countries while in the service. After 30 years in service, George retired from active duty with the Coast Guard in 1973 as a Lieutenant Commander.

In 1950 George started work at Fairfield Manufacturing Company in Lafayette as a machine repairman. He ended his career at Fairfield as Assistant Plant Engineer. He retired from there is 1977.

One of George's greatest passions was the Lions Club's eye glass mission. He made 43 trips out of the country fitting eyeglasses. His last trip fitting glasses was to Mexico in 2007 at the age of 90.

George was a charter member of the Oxford Lion's Club. He enjoyed his years serving with the Lions and was honored with the Melvin Jones Award for Distinguished Service and the W. P. Wood Award. He served as District Governor for District 25-C in 1982 -1983 and as Past District Governor in the years that followed.

George loved his Oxford United Methodist Church where he had attended since he was 3 years old. He had been an 81 year member of the church. He served his church family in various ways over those many years.

George is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Ron Price of Greencastle, a sister, Mary Lou Etchison of Noblesville and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Jean, his son, Thom, his brothers, Richard and Robert Cross and a sister Betty Cross Swift.

Friends may call at the Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home, Oxford, from 3 until 5 PM Sunday. The funeral will be held at 10:30 AM Monday at the funeral home with Pastor Linda Sproull officiating, with interment to follow in Oxford West Cemetery with American Legion graveside rites. If friends desire, memorial may be made to the Oxford United Methodist Church or Lions International Eye Glass Mission. Memories and condolences may be left at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com.



Published in the Journal & Courier from June 4 to June 5, 2014
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