Joseph "Joe" B. Cross passed away peacefully on Feb. 7, 2014, at the age of 93.
He was born to Robert E. and Grace Guinn Cross on March 7, 1920, in Troup. His grandparents were Joseph Eggleston Johnston Cross and Mollie Matilda Lowry Cross, of Troup, and Judge John Bunyan Guinn and Lillie Louise Westbrook Guinn, of Jacksonville.
Joe graduated from Troup High School and Stephen F. Austin State College, now a university, in Nacogdoches, where he studied animal husbandry, the natural course of study for a young man who had grown up with a grandfather raising champion Hereford cattle. On Feb. 22, 1942, he married the love of his life, Patty Sue Davidson, also of Troup. They would spend the next 71 years together. While enrolled at SFA, Joe received his pilot and instructor license. Joe had the distinction of being the first individual to be drawn in the first draft for World War II in Smith County. Joe spent World War II as an instructor in the Army Air Corps stationed at Jones Field in Bonham, Randolph Air Force Base in Universal City and Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.
After a relatively short career in the soda-water bottling business with his father and brother, his life took a major career change with him going to work for an independent gas processing plant, which later was purchased by Sinclair Oil and Gas. Joe would spend the next 34 years working in the natural gas processing industry. In April, 1984 he retired as a superintendent with the grand re-opening of the White Oak Atlantic Richfield gas plant.
Joe was very active in various communities where they resided. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Troup for more than 50 years. As a Shriner, he had the distinction of serving 16 counties in East Texas, locating and aiding in the admission of hundreds of children to the Shiner's Hospital in Shreveport, La. Joe was a member of the Elks Lodge, Northern Hills Lions Club where he and a group of men were certified and conducted hearing tests in the elementary schools in the San Antonio area, St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Northern Hills Country Club and their senior community, The Waterford at Thousand Oaks. Joe and Patty loved to entertain and dancing was their favorite pastime up to their 70th anniversary where they both were still dancing. He was loved my many in his community and will be greatly missed. He was a man of great faith and had a very gentle soul.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Barbara Cross Smith Arwood; one brother, Robert E. Cross Jr.; his nephew, Dr. Robert Aaron Smith; and his wife, Patty Sue Cross.
Survivors include, one daughter, Joan Cross McCord and husband Jim of San Antonio; two grandsons, Chris Dallal and David Dallal and wife Shannon; two great-grandchildren, David Dallal Jr., and Cadence Marie Dallal, all of San Antonio; niece, Dr. Barbara Carol Smith, of Huntsville; nephew, Donald E. Cross and family of Lafayette, La.; great nephews, Shannon S. Smith and Slayton Smith and respective families, of Nacogdoches; numerous cousins and an extended family.
The family will receive friends on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Porter Loring North.
Masonic graveside service will be in Pinecrest Cemetery in Troup on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Joe and Patty Sue Cross Scholarship at the Stephen F. Austin State University, SFA Alumni Association, P.O. Box 6096-SFA Station, Nacogdoches; or Shriners' Hospital in Galveston or Shreveport, La.
You are invited to sign the guestbook at www.porterloring.com.
Arrangements are with Porter Loring Mortuary North, 2102 N. Loop 1604 E., San Antonio, 78232; 210-495-8221.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Feb. 11, 2014