Donald P. Cross

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

Donald P. Cross


Graveside Service

Feb 7, 2020 (2:30 pm )

Camp Nelson National Cemetery

6980 Danville Road, Nicholasville, Kentucky

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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

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


Guest Book

Marcia Bowling


Working with Dr. Cross at UK For over 20 years was such an honor and I’m so sorry for your loss. Don and I extend our deepest sympathy to the family during this difficult time. Please know that our hearts and prayers are with you.

2 months ago