SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 20, 2013

Richard W. Cross, 77


Beverly Farms — Mr. Richard W. “Dick” Cross, 77, husband of Judith E. (Messervey) Cross of Marblehead, died Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, surrounded by his family.

Born and raised in Danvers, he was the son of the late, George W. and Mary E. (Perkins) Cross. He received his education in the Danvers school system.He served his country with the Massachusetts National Guard, 26th Yankee Division 102nd Field Artillery out of Salem for twelve years. During this time he helped battle the Manchester by the Sea fire of 1954.

As a young man, Dick’s love for automobiles began with him racing stock cars at the former West Peabody Pines Speedway and the Groveland Pines Speedway. He had worked as an auto body mechanic for Elliott Street Auto Body, Silver Brothers and Hartnett Auto Body prior to starting his own business Manchester Auto Body and Cross Towing in 1971 in Manchester by the Sea. He listed his original occupation as a “Tin Knocker”. He was especially proud of helping countless people on Rte. 128 during the Blizzard of 1978 who became stranded on the highway during this massive storm.

He was an avid collector of coins, antique scales, porcelain roosters, model tow trucks and rare toys. He enjoyed going to Fort Myers, Fla., every year with his wife Judith to visit their many friends there as well as going to yard sales and flea markets looking for a deal. He especially enjoyed spending much of his time with his granddaughter, Jordyn.

An active member of the community, he was a former member of the Hastings House Committee, the Fourth of July Committee and West Beach Committee in Beverly Farms. He was given the honor of being Volunteer of the Year in town of Manchester by the Sea. He was a member of the Towing Association, the National Rifle Association, The Manchester Club, the Amaral Baily Post #113, a fifty-year member of the Gerry Five in Marblehead.

He was affectionately known by his wife Judy as “The Bird.” Beneath his stern Yankee exterior, he had a great heart of gold, was extremely generous to all those in need and always made himself available to help people in any way that he could. He enjoyed telling stories or spinning a yarn and had keen memory of things past.

He had the knack of remembering people and their names and seemed to know everyone in town.

In addition to his wife, with whom he shared 51 years of marriage, he is survived by a daughter and business partner Kimberly E. Cross and her fiancé Tony Parisi of Beverly Farms; two sons, George A. Cross and his wife Donna of Danvers, Richard Cross Jr. and his wife Gail of Danvers; two brothers, Phillip Cross and his wife Anne Dzierzak of Danvers, Ralph Cross and his wife Ginger of Fla.; sisters in law, Michelle Irving of Marblehead and Suzanne Dodge and her husband David of Marblehead; sister in law, Wanda Messervey of Winchondon; special children, Lisa and David Palazola of Gloucester, Jeanne Upton of Danvers, grandchildren, Jordyn Mary Cross Parisi, Michael Cross, Allison Cross, Mike Cross, Richard Cross, Jessica Cross; special grandchildren, Amber Macione, Josh Palazola, Jade Langley, Ashley Parisi, Katrina O’Donnell, David Parisi, John Upton, Dianne Upton and several nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren. Close and dear friends, Michael Wogan and his wife Kathy of Beverly, Ellen Nolan of Beverly Farms, Timothy McInnis of Beverly Farms and Billy Bell of Manchester. He was preceded in death by a son, Peter D. Cross; a brother, Donald Cross; brother-in-law, Ambrose H. Messervey; sister in law, Marcia M. Messervey Buswell and her husband Ralph Buswell; a cousin, Mike Tipert, his best friend, Ralph Colantino of Beverly Farms; and his beloved dogs, Sydney, Samson, Ben and Drew.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held at the First Parish Church, 10 Central St., Manchester by the Sea, Friday, February 22, at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell – Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly (North Beverly location), Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Dick’s memory to Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923. Information, directions and condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.