Leland A, Cross, a 70-year resident of Loyalton, died peacefully in his home on Dec. 11. He was an accomplished artist/sign painter, a loving husband, caring father, grandfather and an active community member.
Leland moved from Vermont to the Sierra Valley in the 1950s where he met the love of his life, Phyllis, and married after a three-week courtship. They were married for 68 years when Phyllis passed away in January of this year. Leland and Phyllis had four children: daughter, Pam Whitley and husband, Marty; son, Greg Cross and wife, Karen; daughter, Pattie Williams; daughter, Penny Gamble and husband, Mark; as well as 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Leland was born and raised in Wilmington, Vermont, which cultured his great love for sharp cheddar cheese and a warm slice of apple pie. He had a secret salad dressing recipe that tantalized the taste buds. He attended Ag School and helped his folks on their farm along with his brother Myron, and sisters Ada, Jane and Linda. Linda is his only surviving sibling. He shared many happy memories of the years he spent in Vermont hunting, fishing and serving in the National Guard.
Leland took great pride in his activity in the 20-30 Club, Loyalton Fire Dept. and the Rotary Club. He earned the nickname in Rotary of “Dead Eye” due to a bet he made with some friends that he could shoot a squirrel; he missed. He illustrated the Rotary paper and drew many caricatures of club presidents and district leaders. He often donated paintings to club events and various community fundraisers in the Sierra Valley and beyond. He had a heart for the valley and the town he made his home.
Leland will be sorely missed by his family and the friends in the valley he so dearly loved.
An open house celebration of Leland’s life will be held at the Sierra Brooks Lodge 510, Longhorn Drive, Loyalton on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers please send memorial gifts to the Loyalton Fire Department or the Loyalton Rotary Scholarship Fund in his honor.