Norma Louise Cross died on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at the Ledgeview Nursing Home in West Paris. She was born on July 3, 1928, the daughter of Edgar and Gladys Cross, and lived in the Bethel area for most of her life.
As a young adult, Norma developed a strong attachment to popular dance music and classic movies. Although she had a quiet demeanor, she had a wonderful sense of humor and contagious laugh, and family members recall her particular talent for telling scary stories.
Norma worked for many small businesses around Bethel, including Bethel Shoe, the Mica Shop, Favreau’s Furniture, the Bethel Spa Motel, the Bethel Inn and NTL (National Training Labs). While working at the Bethel Inn in 1958, she befriended a southern woman from Alabama named Dora, back when a black person was a rare sight in Bethel, Maine. They remained friends and pen pals for many years, a true indicator of Norma’s generous heart and open mind. Norma was also part of the family-based team (the Crosses) that operated Mt. Abram in its early years. In addition, she was in great demand as a babysitter. For many years, Norma babysat for a number of area families, including Albert and Norma Buck and the Hudsons (Dr. Hudson was the local veterinarian at that time), where she developed a knack for rounding up escaping cattle as well as children.
Norma enjoyed traveling and was thrilled to fly to California in 1968 with family members to visit an uncle. The highlight of the trip was going to a nightclub to see George Gobel, a well-known comedian and actor. Norma loved family get-togethers, especially picnics and camping, where she was known to carry a big stick to scare away the bears. She also loved anything red, chocolate or related to cats.
Norma fought a courageous 16-year battle with Alzheimers, spending her final years at the Ledgeview Nursing Home. She was predeceased by her parents as well as her brothers, Norton Cross, Donald Cross and Stuart Cross of Bethel, her niece, Patsy Cote of West Bethel, and her nephews, Studie Cross and Duane Cross of Bethel. She is survived by her daughter, Diane Cross of Bethel, her sister, Mary Cross Hester of Gilead, and her brother, Alton Cross of Bedford, Mass. She is also survived by her nieces, Dona Taylor of Gilead, Elaine Cross of Bethel and Wendy Cross of Bethel, her nephews, John Cross of Boston, Jack Cross of Bethel, Eric Kendall of Gilead, and Stephen Cross of Bethel, and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
Norma did not wish for a memorial service, but instead, she requested that her friends and family enjoy a picnic in her honor.