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Roger Erwin Cross, 80, of Evergreen Place, Waitsfield, passed away on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin following several years of declining health. Born in Sheldon on April 25, 1932, he was the son of the late Leon R. and Elizabeth L. (Patterson) Cross.
Born into a farming family in Sheldon, Roger developed a strong work ethic at an early age, first gathering firewood and sap for the sugarhouse and then at the age of 12, working regularly in the barn and fields. He began his formal education in a one-room schoolhouse in East Georgia and then later attended Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax. His schooling ended prior to graduation because he was needed on the farm to help support the family. He was proud to later obtain his GED.
Roger enlisted in the military as a member of the U.S. Army that took him to Europe, Asia and locations within the United States with a final tour of duty in Vietnam from 1966-67. Following his discharge, Roger moved to Brattleboro where he worked as a roofer and then as a postal clerk. Returning to his hometown of Fletcher, Roger was employed for eight years at Spartan Industries, operating machinery that produced tiles for the board game Scrabble, from which he retired. He has been a resident of Evergreen Place in Waitsfield since 2002.
Roger joined the Fletcher Grange #473 when he was 14 and became its youngest master at the age of 21. His other memberships included the Franklin County Pamona Grange, the Vermont State Grange and a 7th Degree member of the National Grange. His many interests included stamp and coin collecting. He was an avid Red Sox fan and enjoyed watching NASCAR stock car racing.
Roger is survived by his children, Carleton Cross of Jacksonville, AR, Ronald Cross of Elkins Park, PA, Ruth Ella McLean of Puyallup, WA, Diane Cross of Brattleboro, VT, Thaddeus Cross of Vernon, VT, Yolonda Cross of Laconia, NH, Orlando Cross of East Berwick, ME, and Roger Cross II of St Albans, VT; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; his siblings, Lorraine Parsons of Swanton, VT, and Danford Cross of Tucumcari, NM; as well as extended family.
Memorial services will be held from Evergreen Place, 5308 Main Street in Waitsfield, on March 7, 2013, at 11 a.m. Inurnment services with military honors will take place at a later date in the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury. To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook.