VERSAILLES - Wayne D. Cross, 61, a retired water plant operator for Collins Correctional Center, where he worked for 38 years, died Saturday (Oct. 13, 2012) in his home after a lengthy illness.
He was born Dec. 14, 1950 in Gowanda, NY the son of the late Merton and Helen (VanRensselaer) Cross.
Wayne was a lifelong member of Versailles United Methodist Church and attended Gowanda Free Methodist Church, a member of the Versailles Fire Department serving as Fire Chief for 37 years and receiving the 1983 Fireman of the Year award. He also worked afternoon shifts for STEL Inc. as a counselor in addition to his full time state job. On behalf of the Gowanda Village Board, Gowanda's Mayor proclaimed this past Saturday as WAYNE CROSS DAY recognizing his exceptional daily volunteerism as promoting positive change and inspiring others. Wayne is recognized for providing community service with 37 years with the Gowanda Ambulance, as Chief of the Versailles Fire Department and a 15-year member of the Zoar Valley Rescue Squad. Wayne will be remembered for his ability to play community San-ta and Easter bunny which he did for 30 years. He served on the medical staff for the Jim Kelly football camps for 25 years and was a 10-year member of Go-wanda Moose
He is survived by his wife of 42 years Linda (Catalano) Cross of Versailles, NY, whom he married July 9, 1970 in the Versailles Methodist Church; his son Wayne B. (Tonya) Cross of Versailles; his three daughters Tracy (Robert Jr.) Studley of Gowanda, Tamara (Mark) Ondus of Collins, NY, Michelle (Steve Jr.) Stockwell of Versailles, NY; his brother Donald (Dorothy) Cross of Dunkirk; his sister Barbara (Robert) Irons of Franklin, PA; his sister-in-law Nancy Cross of Smith Mills, NY; 15 grandchildren: Justan, Alyssa and Savanna Studley; Hannah, Emma, Envy and Pierce Cross; Jacob Bean; Quentin Centner; Charlie, Nikolas and Tauni Ondus; Sebastian Luther; Christopher and Shaina Stockwell; his great grandson Noah Stockwell, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Richard Cross.
Visitation will be held at Hills Funeral Chapel, 255 Aldrich Street, Gowanda NY on Tuesday (Oct. 16, 2012) and Wednesday (Oct. 17, 2012) from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, (Oct. 18, 2012) at 11:00 a.m. at Hills Funeral Chapel. Rev. Vernon Saile of Gowanda Free Methodist Church will be officiating. Burial will be in the Versailles Cemetery.
The Family suggests memorials to the Versailles Fire Dept., P.O. Box 88, Versailles, NY 14168.