Donald P. Cross

Thursday 18th of January 1934 - Sunday 2nd of February 2020

Donald P. Cross

Services

Graveside Service

Feb 7, 2020 (2:30 pm )

Camp Nelson National Cemetery

6980 Danville Road, Nicholasville, Kentucky

View on map

Clergy Rev. Brad Allred

Donald Paul Cross, 86, passed away peacefully at home in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Don was the youngest of fifteen children,  born to John S. Cross and Tucia May Cross in Trinidad, Colorado. 


Don served his country in the United States Army from 1954-1956. He attended Trinidad Junior College, the University of Iowa (B.S.), Kansas State Teacher’s College (M.S., Ed.S.), and the University of Kansas (Ed.D.). He worked in Lee County, Iowa as a Speech and Hearing Therapist and School Psychologist before moving to Lexington.


 Don taught at the University of Kentucky Department of Special Education from 1967-1992, serving as Director of the Educational Assessment Clinic from 1972-1992 and Chairman of the Department from 1980-1992. Don loved teaching, getting to know his students, and supporting their professional development. He particularly loved teaching a summer session at the Easter Seals Camp Kysoc, a camp for children with disabilities, in which his students worked as camp counselors.  


Throughout his career, he advocated for the rights of people with disabilities, especially children. He was heavily involved in the Council for Exceptional Children, and served on over forty committees or boards and nine State Advisory Boards serving exceptional children. In Lexington, he served on the Board of Directors for the Child Development Center and as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metro Alternative Services to Homeless (MASH).


Don loved being with his family and being outdoors exploring, fishing, and boating. He was a fan of UK sports, especially football and basketball.  He was stubborn and also passionate in his beliefs, a trait which served him well as a proponent for the rights of people with disabilities and for his students.


 He is survived by his wife of over 61 years, Rosalie Cross, three children, Mark Cross (Ella), Laura Lemieux (Bob), and Sarah Oddo (Oghale), eight grandchildren,  five great grandchildren, one brother, Ted Cross (Phyllis), and countless nieces and nephews.


 A graveside service with military honors will be conducted at 2:30 pm on Friday, February 7th at Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Nicholasville , Kentucky. Those wishing to attend may meet at the cemetery gate ten minutes prior to service time.


 In honor of his legacy, the family of Dr. Cross requests memorial donations be directed to the Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.


 To share a remembrance of Don or offer condolences to his family, please visit Milwardfuneral.com.

 

Guest Book

Patty Sullivan Phillips

says

Dr. Cross was a quiet Hero for myself and many others. He had a huge passion to help others and was a wonderful Professor. He helped me find my passion to teach & helped me with my own learning differences in the early 70’s. The world needs more people & real life quiet hero’s like Dr. Cross. May you be rewarded for every person you helped on earth. Patty Sullivan Phillips

2 weeks ago

Bill Berdine

says

Don served as a mentor to me when I first arrived at UK and the EDSRC in 1971 as an intern from Penn State, his dedication to serving individuals with disabilities and their families was an inspiration. Stacie and I send our best regards and condolences to Rosalie and family.

2 weeks ago

Dee Schweikle

says

Sending my condolences and love to Rosalie and the rest of the family.

2 weeks ago

Debra Harley

says

Remembering Don fondly for his sense of humor and wonderful story telling. My thoughts and prayers are with Rosalie, Mark, Laura, and Sarah and his UK family.

2 weeks ago

Bob McLaughlin

says

Dr. Cross was one of my mentors at UK. He was an excellent teacher and demanded excellence from all of his students. He recently recruited me to serve with him on the local MASH board which is a program to help shelter children and youth with a variety of problems. True to form, Don would not take no as an answer. It was awesome to work with him once again. He had that kind of positive impact on so many students, children with disabilities, parents, and colleagues. Thoughts and prayers for Rosalie, one amazing woman and partner, and their family. Don will be missed, but never forgotten.

3 weeks ago

Kathy McLaughlin

says

So many wonderful memories of this special man! His actions matched his words as he advocated for those children living with challenges. He showed us how to interact and helped develop our passion for special students through his example at Camp KYSOC. He loved his family fiercely and opened his home to his students and colleagues. Condolences to Rosalie, Mark, Laura, and Sarah.

3 weeks ago