Gary Wayne Cross, 76, of Brownstown, passed away on Friday, December 2, 2022, at Hoosier Christian Village, Brownstown.
Gary was a lifelong member of Ratcliff Grove Christian Church, where he served in many roles over the years, including Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Elder, Church Board member, and Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Cross was a graduate of Brownstown High School, Class of 1963. After his high school graduation, Gary took the Purdue Short Course for farming. He farmed his entire life alongside his father and his wife. Gary also worked at the canning factory, Arvins, and Cummins, where he worked mostly third shift for 44 years. He drove several of his co-workers to and from work in a 15-passenger van for many years.
Gary was a charter member of the Brownstown Ambitious Young Farmers, serving the community for over 50 years in several ways, including starting the Lemon Shake Stand at the Jackson County Fair, attending the Annual Young Farmer Convention across the country, and helping with Brownstown Christmas Cheer for many years. He was a ten-year 4-H member, a member of FFA, the Jackson County Christian Men’s Fellowship, and Indiana Farm Bureau for more than 50 years. Gary served on the steering committee for Hoosier Christian Village for 20 years. He coached and umpired girls’ softball, and he was an ASA umpire for men’s softball leagues for many years. In addition, he volunteered with the Jackson County History Center, where he enjoyed popping popcorn and grilling porkburgers.
Over the years, Gary and his wife, Gloria, enjoyed chaperoning many of their kids’ trips for many organizations in which they were involved, including band trips, as well as 4-H Jr. Leader trips, even after their kids were no longer members. He enjoyed singing barbershop in “The Mellotones”, for many years. He took great pride in shooting off spectacular fireworks displays every 4th of July at “Thunder Over Spraytown”. Gary and his family made many fond memories on a variety of family vacations over the years as “Tourists!”, including several trips to Gatlinburg to “hunt for bears”, which Gary had his own personal bear call that he used many times.
Gary was born in Brownstown, on December 11, 1945, and was the son of the late Russell Louis and Mildred Zella (Brewer) Cross. He married the love of his life, Gloria Sue Wayt, on May 31, 1969, in Nashville, Indiana, and she survives in Brownstown. In 2019, Gary and Gloria were blessed to be the fourth continuous generation in his family to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Gary is survived by his wife, Gloria: their children: Missy (Jeff) Kelley of Scottsburg, Staci (Mike) Tharp of Brownstown, and Jeremy (Michelle) Cross of Monroe, Georgia; grandchildren: Jeffrey Kelley, Abby Kelley, Kyle Tharp, Zach Glover, Caleb Glover, Noah Glover, and Luke Cross; sisters: Dorothy Lou (Harold) Rees of Southport and Carolyn Sue Greathouse of Columbus; close family friends: Vickie Fleetwood, and Jack and Alisha Griffin; several other family members, including numerous cousins; many close friends; and his canine companions, Izzy and Taffy.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cliff and Susie (Zike) Wayt; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Gerald (Linda) Wayt and Glen (Wilma) Wayt; brother-in-law, Glenn Greathouse; best friend, Gerald “GW” Fleetwood; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services for Gary Wayne Cross will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, 2022, at Ratcliff Grove Christian Church, Freetown, with Matt Roberts officiating. Friends may call from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at Spurgeon Funeral Home, Inc., Brownstown, and from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, 2022, at Ratcliff Grove Christian Church, Freetown.
Interment will follow at Freetown Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to Ratcliff Grove Christian Church, Freetown.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the caring staff at Spurgeon Funeral Home, Inc., Brownstown.
Online memorials and condolences may be given at www.spurgeonfh.com