O. Betty Cross, age 90, teacher and helper of others passed away on January 15, 2018. Betty was born to Clarence E. and Dorothy A. (Atkey) Cross in Niagra Falls, New York on November 23, 1927. She was baptized in the First Presbyterian Church and graduated from Lafayette High School in Niagara Falls. Betty attended the State University of New York College for Teachers and later graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Betty started teaching in South Haven, Michigan where she worked with several handicapped children. Finding gratification in working with these students, she attended Michigan State University where she received her Master’s Degree in teaching the Orthopedically Handicapped.
Betty taught a self-contained classroom of grades one through eight in Highland Park, Michigan. She then taught science in Rockford for two years. In 1990, after twenty-one years of teaching, Betty retired from Gaylord Community Schools.
Ms. Cross’ philosophy was evident in her words, “Good manners may in seven words be found, forget yourself and think of those around.” Betty was a lay reader in the church, sang in the choir, taught bible school and worked in the food pantry. Betty helped build a nutrition center in Haiti, donated time on the Navajo Indian Reservation and helped repair storm damage in Homestead, Florida. She was a member of the Michigan Education Association, board member with Habitat for Humanity and RSVP in Gaylord. She volunteered for the Red Cross and Salvation Army as well as worked at the voting polls. Betty could be found spending her free time at Vance’s Rehabilitation where she would help those physically challenged with their swimming and exercise.
Betty traveled extensively in her retirement. She stayed in her home until recently with the expert help from Gloria Romatz.
She is survived by: James Holmes of Oak Park, Illinois; Richard Holmes of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Catherine Franciol of St. Martinville, Louisiana; Wendy Braat of Concord, North Carolina; Anne Welch of Newburyport, Massachusetts; Doug Braat of Japan; Colin Braat of Port Jervis, New York; William Braat of Frisco, Texas, and Steve Braat of Belmont, California.
Betty was preceded in death by her sisters, Dorothy “Peggy” Braat and Joyce Holmes.
All who knew and loved Betty are invited to attend a graveside service on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11AM at Otsego Lake Township Cemetery with Rev. Dan Bowman officiating.
Memorial contributions in Betty’s memory may be made to the Otsego County Animal Shelter, 256 Fairview Road, Gaylord, MI 49735.
Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.
Family and friends may offer condolences online at nelsonsfuneralhome.com.