July 17, 1929-March 16, 2020
NEW HOPE — Mass of Christian Burial for Nancy Cross, 90, of New Hope will take place at St Joseph Catholic Church, Taylors Falls, on a date-to-be-determined due to the current virus concerns. There will be a graveside service at 11 a.m. Saturday, with visitation one half hour prior, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Franconia Cemetery, Franconia.
Nancy died Monday, March 16, 2020, with her loving husband, Robert, of more than 70 years, at her side, peacefully surrounded by family after complications from a fall that same morning.
Nancy Marie (Vercoe) Cross was born July 17, 1929, in Flint, MI, the first child of Philip and Beatrice (Harlton) Vercoe. She grew up in Flint and was baptized by her grandfather, Reverend George Vercoe, at the North Baptist Church, and confirmed at First Presbyterian Church in Flint. She graduated from Flint Central High School where her father was the Principal. She then attended Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, where she met the love of her life, Robert Cross, just back from WWII where he had served in the army. They were married by her grandfather, Reverend George Vercoe, on August 30, 1949 at First Presbyterian Church in Flint.
After their wedding, they moved to Boston, MA, where Bob attended seminary and was ordained a Protestant minister. They welcomed their first two children there. Following ordination, Bob answered his first call to a Baptist church in Antrim, NH where they had their next 3 children — losing son, Lincoln, at 3 days of age. Bob was then called to Flint, MI, and the First Presbyterian Church, as associate pastor. They added seven children in their 10 years in Flint including four by adoption. Next was a move to Minneapolis in 1969 where Bob worked with alcoholics. Within a few years of that move, the Holy Spirit led all 13 family members into the Roman Catholic Church. Nancy’s devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, was very instrumental in this conversion of her family and husband, with all taking their First Communion on Christmas Eve 1971. Five years later, Robert was ordained as a Permanent Deacon, and Nancy was amazed to see her husband on the altar assisting the Bishop. In the years that followed, Bob and Nancy had homes in Taylors Falls, MN, Colman, SD, Manistique, MI, Saint Croix Falls, WI, and — most recently — New Hope, MN.
Nancy was a wonderful homemaker who raised 11 children. She also wrote numerous books and published magazine articles evangelizing on her Catholic faith. Most of her writing can be found on the website CatholicDiagramTeacher.com, along with the Bible study she developed and taught to many. She was also published in “Spiritual Journeys” where she shared her conversion story.
Nancy painted, gardened, and hooked numerous rugs for the 11 children and their families. Her love for family experiences led to three traditions: “The Farm;” Cross Christmas Camp for our family of 140+; and, a love for vacationing on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Family and Faith are her legacy.
In addition to Robert, she is survived by her children: Barbara (Patrick) Verly of Marshall, and family; Martha (Steven) Jacobson of Dresser, WI, and family; Paula (William) Tomlinson of New Hope, and family; Philip Cross of Lindstrom, and family; Jerry Kieckhoefer (Mary†1986) (Kathy) of Saint Croix Falls, WI, and family; James (Elaine) Cross of Glencoe, and family; Cheryl (Kevin) Odland of Minneapolis, and family; Daniel (Angela) Cross of St Paul, and family; Alan (Cheryl) Cross of Apple Valley, and family; Bruce (Julie) Cross of Minneapolis and family; Carol Cross and family of Dresser, WI; 34 grandchildren; 58 great-grandchildren; her brother, Paul Vercoe of Sierra Vista, AZ; and five nieces and five nephews.
Nancy is preceded in death by her parents, Philip and Beatrice Vercoe; her sister, Bethany Zabrowski; her brother-in-law, Joseph Zabrowski; her daughter, Mary Kieckhoefer; her son, Lincoln Cross; and by Dale and Joann Dorn, the parents of four of her children.
With love of husband and children, the love of Jesus in the Eucharist centered her life. Arrangements by the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom.