Marie Cross

Marie Z. Cross, longtime resident of Lawrence, died June 21, 2010. 
Dr. Cross was born January 8 1921, in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.  She attended the University of Wisconsin and later became the first female biochemistry PhD in that school’s history.  She moved to Lawrence in 1949 to become a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Kansas, in the department that became Human Development and Family Life.  She married Frank B. Cross on November 24, 1954.
After taking some time off to raise their three children, Dr. Cross returned to teaching at KU.   A much beloved professor, she was honored with the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award in 1990.  Upon realizing the difficulties of living with a disability (adrenoleukodystrophy), she became active in disabled support activities in the community and in 1987 received the Multiple Sclerosis Society Mother of the Year Award. 
She was a very giving, loving and strong individual who will be missed greatly by many. Survivors include son Frank in Austin, TX, daughters Betty Sue in Kirkwood, MO and Julie in Madison, CT, and three grandchildren, Kendra, Jemma, and Jeremy.
Memorials may be made to the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, 2304 Highland Dr., Sycamore, IL 60178, 800-728-5483;  (, or the charity of your choice.
Family and friends are invited to sign an online registry at A memorial service honoring Marie Cross will be held this fall, date to be announced.

8 Condolences

  1. Lori Underwood (Sutherland) on July 22, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I have many fond childhood memories of Mrs. Cross and send my sympathies to the family. She was a remarkable lady…

  2. Nancy Landis on July 22, 2010 at 12:00 am

    My sincere sympathy to the family of Marie Cross. I spent many years as an employee at Rusty’s IGA in Lawrence. Mrs. Cross was one of my favorite customers who would come into my checkstand. She was always kind and friendly. Seeing her face and reading her obituary brought back good thoughts of her even though I left Rustys in 1972. She touched many lives with her kindness-I never forgot her.

  3. Helen Alexander on July 22, 2010 at 12:00 am

    My family and I have very fond memories of Marie. We got to know her about 6-7 years ago, when we realized that she knew my parents back at University of Wisconsin in the 1940’s. We started getting together for meals, and had lots of fun conversations on everything from food, to KU basketball, to politics. She was clearly proud of her family, and told us many stories. Marie paid special attention to my son, who loves fish and fishing, and we appreciated her kind donation of some of Frank’s books to him.

    We marveled at her energy and positive outlook on life, and enjoyed her company. We will miss her, and send our best wishes to her family.

    Sincerely, Helen Alexander

  4. Alita Cooper on July 25, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I was so saddened to read about your mother’s death in the newspaper. She was a valued friend and colleague for many years. She will be missed and remembered with love and respect.

  5. Gill Poulter on July 28, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Dear Julie,

    I’m very sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. I have many fond memories of her, and you of course. Please pass on my condolences to your sister and brother.

    Love, Gill

  6. Nancy Wood on July 31, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I remember Professor Cross with great fondness. I had the privilege of being one of her students in her introductory nutrition course at KU. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a brilliant lecturing style. I looked forward to and enjoyed every lecture. She has sat ever since in my “pantheon” of wonderful teachers that made learning such a joy. May Marie Cross rest in peace and may her memory be for a blessing.

  7. Paul & Gwyn Kitos on August 2, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Dear Frank, Betty Sue and Julie:

    We and our family send our deepest sympathy upon the death of your dear mother. She was a colleague of ours at KU and a friend over the years in Lawrence.

    We shall miss her very much.

    Paul & Gwyn

  8. Janet Scannell on May 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Betty Sue and Julie,
    My mother shared the announcement of your mother’s passing. I do believe that it takes a village to raise a child and I appreciate that your mother shared her warmth with me and so many others. I remember her creativity in girl scouts and at Halloween. She was an adult I felt I could trust and that I really enjoyed being around.

    I wanted you to know that I was thinking of her and of you both.

    All my best,

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