William Cross

William Jay Cross

December 18, 2019
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Passed away suddenly and most unexpectedly December 18, 2019. Bill was born in the old, old St. Joe hospital on Ingalls Street, raised in a house still standing at East University and Prospect. A quintessential townie; doing stints at Washtenaw Dairy, Drakes Sandwich Shop, WAAM Radio, U of M Center for Research-Language and Language Behavior, the U of M School of Music and the U of M Institute for Social Research. His love of theater came unexpectedly one evening in 1959 when he attended a tryout at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater and was awarded the newsboy role in “Streetcar Named Desire.” Some forty years and seventy principle roles later and a MA in theater from U of M, his passion for theater held strong. His love of the Great Lakes came from his first dramatic view of Lake Michigan and could often be heard saying “I could live forever with Lake Michigan in my eyes.” Loved and admired by many, many friends including co-workers. Predeceased by his parents, Foster Sr. and Esther Cross; and his brother, Foster Jr. (Monte). We will miss him dearly—his wish was to leave behind a life that was of worth and pleasant to recall—and that is just the memory he leaves.

A memorial gathering will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 10am until the time of the memorial service at 11am at Nie Family Funeral Home; 3767 W. Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Huron Valley; 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 or The Family Learning Institute; 1954 S Industrial Hwy Suite D, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
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Service Details

  • Memorial Gathering

    Sunday February 9, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Sunday February 9, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Liberty Road Chapel
    3767 W. Liberty Road
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Memorial Service

    Sunday February 9, 2020 | 11:00am
    Sunday February 9, 2020 11:00am
    Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Liberty Road Chapel
    3767 W. Liberty Road
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Bill's Monitoring the Future Family

Posted at 07:29am
Our thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.
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Bill's Monitoring the Future Family purchased the Dreams from the Heart Bouquet for the family of William Cross.


Jeff Nicholls

Posted at 10:59am
Bill, a long time coworker and great friend of 25 plus years. It's been two months since your passing and you are missed! As we gather soon for your memorial service, to share memories and celebrate your life (or your part in our lives), what comes to me most are the great dinners and conversation we shared which cannot be replaced. Our visits over dinner and drinks since your retirement were a source of relaxation and enjoyment that I always looked forward to. I think of you often and will continue to do so, You were a true friend and your loss is profound for those of us who knew you.

John Hutzler and Casey Hernandez Hutzler

Posted at 02:35pm
With deepest sympathy,
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John Hutzler and Casey Hernandez Hutzler purchased flowers for the family of William Cross.


John Schulenberg

Posted at 08:23pm
Bill Cross was a beloved part of Monitoring the Future (MTF) program at the University of Michigan for many years. He kept our computers working well, being the go-to for anything computer related, allowing us to continue our work on monitoring the behaviors and attitudes of the new generations of youth. And also the go-to for anything about movies, always knowing the movie with even limited information. Always a kind smile and wry sense of humor. There was a “cool” about Bill, bringing and leaving the feeling that everything was going to be ok. He would attend our rare MTF parties even after he retired, which made the parties all the more fun. He will be missed.
- John Schulenberg

Erik Olsen

Posted at 06:33pm
Oh, Bill. We only shared the Mendelssohn stage for a few fleeting moments—and it was only as much as that if you counted curtain calls. Wish we could have had a bit more time. Whatever’s next for you? They’re not going to know what hit ‘em.

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