Marian Banks Cross
1925 - 2020
BORN
1925
DIED
2020
Marian Banks Cross passed away peacefully on the afternoon of October 29th. She touched countless lives through her work as a school teacher, therapist, pianist, lifelong supporter of music in her community, and as a friend, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Marian was born to Lawrance and Doris Banks on May 18,1925 in San Francisco and spent her early years in Bakersfield. Her family moved to Modesto in 1935 where she met her future husband Jim Cross. They married in 1945; after Jim finished medical school and his residency in 1954, they settled in Lodi, CA where they raised their four daughters and lived for 45 years.
Marian was born with a love of music and began playing the piano at an early age. Her passion led her to major in music and psychology at UC Berkeley where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy. In 1971 she began a Masters program at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley; she graduated with a Masters in Counseling in 1976 and received her Marriage and Family Therapy license that same year. She had an active therapy practice in Lodi working with individuals, couples, families and groups until she retired in 1989.
Marian's care for the well being of others was present throughout her life; long before becoming a therapist, Marian always made herself available to listen to a troubled teen or parent in the community. As a member of the Lodi Methodist Church, she led numerous retreats for clergy and spouses, families, and youth groups within the California/Nevada Methodist Conference; through the Conference, she also led progressive sex education workshops for Methodist teens and their parents. In 2014 Marian was inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame for her many contributions to the community.
Marian expressed her love and enthusiasm for music in various ways. Every year she and Jim hosted a Christmas carol sing for family and friends from near and far. She was a member and performer in the Stockton Piano Club for 38 years, and hosted students from the UOP Conservatory to practice and give recitals in their home. Marian was also a great supporter of the Stockton Symphony and the Stockton Chorale; after moving to the O'Connor Woods retirement community in 1998, she organized a fundraiser to purchase a grand piano, arranged for artists to give talks and recitals, and organized buses to take residents to both the Symphony and Chorale concerts. After moving to Sherwood Oaks in Fort Bragg in 2013, she regularly attended the Chamber concert series and the Symphony of the Redwoods, as well as the Mendocino Music Festival which was the highlight of her year.
As a resident at Sherwood Oaks, she continued to care about the well being of others and made dear friends while living there. Many of the staff expressed to us their deep affection for her and as always, they were an amazing support to our family and Marian as she transitioned from this life.
Marian loved nature and enjoyed many backpacking trips in the High Sierras with Jim, and later with their four daughters and friends. She swam everyday and loved to travel internationally. Her family and friends brought her tremendous joy.
Marian is survived by her four daughters, Sarah Cross, Mona Sowiski, Christina Cross and Lisa Cross-Robinson; her grandchildren, Alexandra Hagnéré, Matthew Sowiski, Will Thomson, Susanna Thomson; great grandchildren, Clayton and Cayla Hagnéré; sons-in-law, Michael Sepulveda, Mark Burrell, John Thomson, Bo Messer; grandson-in-law, Fabian Hagnéré; niece, Lynda Banks Thomas, her husband, Paul Thomas and daughter, Larissa Thomas; and the Allen cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James Cross; younger brother, Dr. Thomas Banks; and sister-in law, Beverly Banks.
Donations in memory of Marian Cross may be made to the Symphony of the Redwoods PO Box 278 Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(A 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation) and to the Sherwood Oaks Employee Fund: 130 Dana St Fort Bragg, CA 95437.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



10 Entries
Looking back my days growing up in the Lodi FUMC community, my siblings and I were lucky to attend and perform in the choirs, ice cream socials and youth group activities that Marian supported - over the years, literally hundreds of children and teens were involved. It's wonderful to know that she continued to share her passion for music where ever she lived. I also remember the exciting Christmas carol sings at their home. Deepest sympathy for the Cross family and grateful for Marian's role in our lives.
James Nakashima
Acquaintance
December 31, 2020
Your mom used to accompany me on the piano when I had my clarinet recitals in different schools. She always was so sweet and caring and she always encouraged me to do my best. She also gave me such high scores and gave me such confidence in myself. I was in the band and a student of Amos Parker at Woods School back in the early 60’s !! She always remembered me and when I would see her as I got older out and around Lodi, she always would talk with me and remember the days of her accompanying me. I couldn’t believe that she even remembered. I always thought she was such a sweet and special lady. Know in your hearts that you were lucky to have had such a great Mom !!!
Sincerely, Shirley Maranise Shaw
Shirley Shaw
Acquaintance
December 19, 2020
Mom touched many lives in many ways. She was an incredible human being that never turned a deaf ear to anyone, she shared her home, her time and her knowledge and her compassion with everyone. She was an incredible Mom to all of her daughters and for me, as the youngest and being the one that probably gave her the most worry; her love and support never wavered. She gave her best to everyone and she is missed so much. I was blessed to have her as my Mom, she was truly a gift
here on earth and heaven just got an amazing musical angel. I love you Mom and I miss you so....
Lisa Cross-Robinson
Daughter
December 10, 2020
Marian was the most amazing woman. She was my friends’ mother, who became my friend as time went by. I will cherish what I learned from her and remember her always.
Susan Wise
Friend
December 9, 2020
Sarah, Mona, Christina and Lisa I am sad to hear of your mom's passing. I have many good memories with your family at church and "baby sitting" you guys who weren't babies. Holding you all in my thoughts and my prayers. Linda
Linda Mills
Friend
December 7, 2020
Dear family of Marian Cross,
Mrs. Cross was my choir director at the Methodist Church in Lodi in the 1960’s....and I remember her with such fondness. It was an absolute joy to sing in the choir largely due to her guidance and encouragement. Prayers to her family and remembrance of a wonderful woman.
Cherie Hughes Gibson
Cherie Gibson
Student
December 6, 2020
Mona and family,
So sorry to hear the passing of your Mother. She lived a long fulfilled life. My condolences to everyone.

Arlene Fink Baker
Arlene M. Baker
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
Thank you for putting Marian's obituary in our local newspaper. Marian has been missed in the Lodi community for some time. In fact, I would still look for her in the balcony of the FUMC. When we moved to Lodi in 1983 and I began to develop the Elementary School Counselor Program for LUSD there was no one more supportive of my efforts than Marian. How blessed we were to have her in our community, in our church and in our lives. Love and prayers are extended to her wonderful family and her multitude of friends.
Christy Reinold
Friend
December 5, 2020
Dear Cross family, your mom held a special place in my heart as we met at O'Connor Woods when I was the administrator there. She contributed to the joy of all the residents and staff with her amazing talent and efforts to purchase the beautiful grand piano for West Hall. Marian was a gentle and kind soul. I will never forget when she moved to a 1 bedroom apartment and her concert grand piano took up most of the living room! Her music filled the halls of Valley Oak. Sending love and prayers to your family. Sincerely, Marcia Fitzgerald
Marcia A Fitzgerald
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
Mona and family,
Just read about the passing of your mother and would like to offer my condolences.
May God's hand comfort you at this time.
Stan
Stanley Kirst
Friend
December 5, 2020
Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results