VILLA RIDGE, Ill. -- Gene A. Cross, 75, of Villa Ridge died Friday, Sept. 20, at the Daystar Care Center in Cairo, Ill.
He was born Nov. 28, 1926, in Villa Ridge, son of George A. and Ada Mai Johns Cross. He was married to Merelyn Townes Cross.
Cross was a graduate of Douglass High School in Mounds, Ill., and attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and received a degree from Wilberforce University in Xenia, Ohio. His master's in education degree was from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.
He served in the U.S. Air Force from Oct. 20, 1945, to Oct. 24, 1946.
Cross was an official in basketball, baseball and softball for 49 years. Cross was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1985 and into the Sports Hall of Fame at Wilberforce University in 2000.
Cross was also a dean of students at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill., until his retirement in 1985.
He was a member of the St. Paul AME Church in Mounds, Ill., where he was a trustee.
Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Gena Frances Cross Burroughs; a son, Darryl Robyn Cross; a sister, Molly Norwood; a brother, Austin Devon Cross; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Jones Funeral Home in Villa Ridge. A memorial service will be held on the family lawn at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will follow at the National Cemetery at Mound City, Ill.
Sparks Funeral Home of Charleston, Mo., is in charge of arrangements.