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.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11, 2020.