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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John Hutzler and Casey Hernandez Hutzler sent flowers to the family of William Jay Cross.
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John Hutzler and Casey Hernandez Hutzler

Posted at 02:35pm
With deepest sympathy,
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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.

Sandra Thomasson

Posted at 12:28pm
Bill Cross has been my friend and confidant for more than half my life. Anyone who has been lucky enough to view one of his many appearances on the stages in Ann Arbor left the theater moved by the story he told. He was on too many cast lists to count, most of these associated with AACT, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. I consider myself so privileged to have shared the stage with him. Even more than this, I am so thankful for his willingness to listen to my sorrows and to share my joys. I will miss our emails and our get togethers for lunch or dinner. Ann Arbor has lost a great ambassador, the theater world has lost a great talent, and I have lost a great friend. See you in my dreams Bill! Many, many hugs.

Elaine Maggio

Posted at 11:27am
I consider myself blessed to have known Bill as a co-worker and a good friend. He was always caring and very kind to me and brought in little treats from time to time...such a thoughtful guy. We had many great conversations and the banter between us was always good-natured and fun! I am thankful that we recently had lunch together. Little did I know it would be the last time I would see him. With all the memories we shared, I love that his goodbye hug will be my last and most special memory. Go in peace, Bill, and know that you are loved and will be missed.

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