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Ralph Cross, eldest son of Bill and Bertha Cross, was born in Russelville, Arkansas on September 16, 1921. He passed away peacefully in his eldest daughter’s home in Indianapolis on August 18, 2022.
Ralph was raised in Lonoke, Arkansas and graduated from Lonoke High School in 1941. He took pride in having been the captain of the Lonoke High School football team, and in having won first place in the Arkansas State High School broad jump in 1941.
Ralph attended the University of Arkansas briefly before entering the United States Marine Corps on October 19, 1942. He served 40 months and was honorably discharged February 15, 1946. His area of service was in the South Pacific: Guam and Okinawa, and occupation duty in Japan.
Ralph was discharged in the California Bay Area where he met his future wife, Amy (Vicki) Ida Erickson. Together they had three daughters, Mary Ann, Nancy Louise, and Elizabeth Jean.
Ralph worked for 38 years in the engineering department of Gerber Products Company. He was instrumental in the set-up, maintenance and operation of the Rochester, New York and Ft. Smith, Arkansas plants.
Ralph is survived by his three daughters, sons-in-law Doug Kline and Jon Jaffe, grandchildren Jon, Sarah, Megan, Andrea, Erin, Alex, Nick, and Robert, and five great-grandchildren. They remember his life-long interest in hunting, fishing, camping and all outdoors, and appreciate his efforts to instill in them that same love of nature.
The family gathered in Indianapolis on September 4th to partake of a bottle of “Old Grand Dad” that Ralph had been saving for more than 40 years. After noting that a significant “angel’s share” had mysteriously disappeared from the bottle, a toast was made, and the whiskey was drunk. Still hot on the tongue, but with sweet caramel overtones, the liquor was declared to have held up well. Not unlike Ralph himself.
Per Ralph’s wishes, a portion of his ashes will be interred with his late wife Vicki in Fremont, Michigan. The remainder will be scattered at his favorite fishing spot, Sydenham Lake in Ontario, Canada. See you at the lake, Grandpa!