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June 06th, 2020

tom crossTom Cross, 91, died Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. 

He was born Oct. 2, 1928 to Thomas and Juanita (Nelson) Cross near Belle Plaine.

He grew up as a farm boy, and was always interested in sports. He played football in high school and later at Panhandle A&M in Goodwell, Okla., where he graduated in 1951. 

He was drafted into the U.S. Army and chose to be in the 82nd Airborne division. 

Following his service, he started his football and track career for 38 years. He also had an extraordinary career in strength and conditioning teaching Olympic Weightlifting at Tulsa University and Mid America Nazarene University in Olathe. He was the National Federation Coach of the Year, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Regional Coach of the Year, Master Coach from the collegiate Strength & Conditioning Association, and then named a legend in the field. He was a supervisor in the weight room at the World Olympics in 1996. He taught many USAW courses for coaches to be certificated.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, June (Berry) Cross; daughter, Shari (Cross) Abbott; son-in-law Cliff Abbott; brothers, Gail Cross and wife, Sylvia, and Harold Dick Cross and wife, Alice; sister, Betty Reiley; four grandsons: Bo Abbott and wife, Kristen, Blake Abbott and wife, Lauren, Bram Abbott and wife, Bethani, and Britton Abbott; and great grandchildren, Ellington and Emmeline. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and son, Kurt Cross.

• Funeral services will be at 10:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 at College Church of the Nazarene, 2020 E. Sheridan, Olathe, KS 66062. 

Burial will take place at the Leavenworth National Cemetery at 150 Muncie Road in Leavenworth.

Visitation will start at 9:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. 

Memorials are suggested to the Tom Cross Scholarship Fund established at Mid-America Nazarene University given each year to an athlete in the strength and conditioning program. 

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