Robert Tracy Cross died on September 24, 2020, at Mountain Valley Hospice in Gloversville, NY, exactly one week shy of his 101st birthday.
Born on October 1, 1919, at Albany’s Brady Maternity Hospital to Egbert Tracy Cross and Margaret Lingenfelter Cross, Bob was an enthusiastic, devoted, active, contributing and fun-loving citizen of Johnstown, NY from birth until his 2011 move to the Beverwyck senior living community in Slingerlands, NY, three and a half years after the death of his wife of sixty-two years, Eleanor Denkert Cross, for whom he cared devotedly throughout her painful decline.
A 1938 graduate of Johnstown High School, Bob attended the University of Alabama until drafted into the U.S. Army Infantry in 1941, subsequently transferring to the Army Air Corps, where he was an aerial navigator in the Air Transport Command in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America from June 1943 until December 1945, when he mustered out as a first lieutenant.
Bob and Eleanor were married on August 20, 1945, in Johnstown’s First Presbyterian Church, where both were active, lifelong members, serving in a variety of capacities.
Post WW II, Bob worked briefly for the Sinclair Refining Company, then many years for Johnstown leather sporting goods manufacturer M. Denkert & Co. Best known as the longtime proprietor of Robert T. Cross, Realtor®, Bob also served as Deputy Clerk of the New York State Court of Claims and President of Johnstown residential developers Cross Jung Realty, Inc. and Bruce Cross Jung Corp. Nine years as a trustee and director of IDS Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, was the capstone of his real estate career.
Bob’s community service included membership on the Johnstown YMCA Board of Directors, Fulton County March of Dimes Campaign Director, and eleven years on the Johnstown Board of Education, retiring as President in 1965.
Above all Bob loved his family, his friends, his hometown (more than once remarking, “I don’t understand why anyone would want to live anywhere but Johnstown!”), reading (particularly current events, politics and biographies) and any chance to laugh, stimulate laughter in others, or simply revel in silliness, often in the company of his good friend and co-conspirator, Carroll Walsh. Bob and Carroll may both be gone, but tales of their antics live on!
Bob was predeceased by his parents; brother, Richard; sisters Katherine and Marion Elizabeth (Betty); and wife, Eleanor. He is survived by sons, David (Beth Evans), Tacoma, WA; Timothy (Tanya Iatridis), Lexington, MA; Dave’s children Alison Joseph (Aaron) and Anna Devenport (Kerry); Tim’s children Casey Sussman (Daniel), Nick Cross (Kate) and Yelena Cashion (Roy); great-grandchildren (in birth order) Milo, Kai, Jordan (Jojo), Mackena, Roy, Madelyn and Isla; nieces, nephews and cousins. The family extends heartfelt gratitude to Bob’s devoted aide and friend, Claudia Toffel, and the many Beverwyck friends who brightened Bob’s latter years.
A memorial service will be held at a date and time yet to be determined, but not until public health conditions improve significantly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts in Bob’s memory to the Johnstown Public Library, 38 S. Market St., Johnstown, NY 12095.