Merna Elizabeth Cross, age 95, died Friday, April 10, 2009, surrounded by her loving family at Columbine Health Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Merna was born February 20, 1914, at Edison, Nebraska to Ray and Grace Steward Mills. She grew up on a farm at Edison and graduated from Oxford High School in 1931. She taught school for six years, four years at Hardscrabble (northeast of Edison) and two years at St. Francis, Kansas.

On April 25, 1937, she married Ray Addison Cross and together they farmed near Turkey Creek north of Edison from that time until 1974. To this union four children were born: Connie, Janice, Neal, and Dianne. Ray and Merna had 62 wonderful years together before Ray’s death in 1999.

She was a long-time member of the Arapahoe First United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women,  and the Every Ready Club which she enjoyed so much. She participated in many community and social events throughout her life, always giving of herself without thought for recognition and giving all of us a wonderful model of love and service. She loved her family and enjoyed reading, playing cards, quilting, crocheting, and gardening.

Merna was preceded in death by her husband Ray; her sister Mildred Moberly, her brother Dale Mills, and one granddaughter Beth Alayne McCoy.

Survivors include Daughters: Connie LaFont (Robert DeAngeles) of Niceville, Florida

                                                            Janice Frost (Douglas) of Fort Collins, Colorado

                                                 Son: Neal Cross (Jean) of Frederick, Colorado

                                     Daughter: Dianne Ebel (Stan) of Loveland, Colorado

Twelve grandchildren: Cynthia Gaskill (Scott) of Aurora, NE: David McCoy of Aurora, NE; Andrew McCoy (Tracy) of Lincoln, NE; Kimberly Kosht (David) of Rifle, CO; Mark Frost (Tara) of Austin, TX; Greg Frost (Tracie) of Denver, CO; Jennifer Cross (Fresh White) of Oakland, CA; Sarah Cross of Glendale, CA; Amy Cathey (Brandon) of Denver, CO; Nathaniel Ebel (Courtenay) of Charlottesville, VA; Kyle Ebel of Fort Collilns, CO; Jeff Ebel of Tacoma, WA; Nineteen great-grand children and one great-great grandchild; sister, Lela Matthews of Holyoke, CO; sister-in-law Hazel Cross of Arapahoe, NE; nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Condolences and personal reflections may be left at wenburgfuneralhom.com

Viewing & visitation will be Tuesday, April 14, 2009 from 9 AM till 8 PM at the Wenburg Funeral Home, in Arapahoe, Nebraska and prior to the service at the church. A celebration of her life will be Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Arapahoe, NE, with Rev. Michael Flury and Pastor George Probasco, officiating.  Interment will be in the Arapahoe Cemetery, Arapahoe, Nebraska. Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church.