McInnis & Holloway
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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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CROSS, Donald James Alexander

April 5, 1932 – Calgary, Alberta
October 19, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

After an 86-year ride, Donald Cross tips his Stetson and bids farewell to a rich and vibrant life. A true gentleman in every sense of the word, he possessed a rare combination of humility, modesty and respect for all. Donald will be remembered most for his deep love and devotion to family, community and adventure.

Brewer, hotelier, and rancher, Donald led the family businesses with determination and a strong desire to preserve the Cross legacy. Many historic Alberta organizations benefited from his thoughtful leadership, best illustrated by his half-century commitment to the Calgary Stampede. He was a true Canadian patriot with deep roots in Southern Alberta and his love for the land was ingrained in his DNA.

The outdoors was his playground: hiking, skiing, telemarking, kayaking, polo, fly-fishing, and exploring the back country. Most of all, he loved his daily walk at Bar Pipe with his beloved Bernese by his side, admiring the Hereford cattle with the Rockies in the backdrop.

His strait-shooting, no-nonsense talk was his hallmark. In true western spirit, Donald epitomized the phrase, “talk less and do more”. This rare quality endeared him to people from all walks of life.

Above all, Donald was a true family man. He enjoyed an amazing sixty year partnership with his loving wife Shan and together they travelled to every corner of the globe, all the while fostering lifelong friendships and connections. They were the consummate hosts, and Donald always greeted you with dapper style and a frosty ale in hand. As a role model to his four children and grandchildren, he passed along his thirst for knowledge and nurtured each of their unique paths.

Donald will be deeply missed by his wife Shan; his sister Nan; his four children, Pam (Hector), Gretchen (Bob), Jay, and Jill (James); and four grandchildren, Alexandra, Stephanie, Andrew and Emma.

The family would like to thank those who touched his life, especially his long-time devoted caregivers, Debbie and Sylvia, and the medical community who were pillars of support over the past few years.

As Donald would say, happy trails!

A Celebration of Donald’s Life will be held at The Ranchmen’s Club (710 – 13 Avenue S.W. Calgary, AB) on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute’s Brain Bank. Cheques must be made payable to the University of Calgary – Brain Bank or online at: (http://netcommunity.ucalgary.ca/DonaldCross).

In living memory of Donald Cross, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. It was a pleasure to be introduced to Don, Shan and the Cross family years ago though the Holmans. Don was a wonderful person, and he and his family have made outstanding contributions to Albertans over many decades. Bless them all.

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  2. Chelsey Kehler :

    May the care and love of those around you all provide comfort and peace needed to get through the days ahead. Don was a remarkable man and will be missed by all.
    Our sincere condolences,
    Leighton Art Centre Staff and Board

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  3. Dear Shan and the entire Cross Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Don was a remarkable man who will never be forgotten.
    We never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.
    Sincerely,
    Jana Wager (STS)

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  4. Jim Critchley :

    I would also like to offer my thoughts an prayers to Jill and her family at this time. So sorry for your loss
    Sincerely,
    Jim and Elizabeth Critchley

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  5. Jill,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. It is so profoundly sad to lose someone we love. Our sympathy is extended to all of you.
    Sincerely,
    Barbara Amos and Wayne Murphy

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  6. Barbara Thompson :

    Dear Shan, Gretchen, Bob and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Among the memories from family gatherings at your home Gretchen and Bob, are those of a generous soul who reached out to my parents, and especially Dad, when he was grappling with loss and loneliness. May all those memories and so many more bring you peace and comfort in the days ahead.
    Barb

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  7. Bill and Barb Jones :

    We are so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. He was a great man and it was truly an honour to know him and a privilege to spend time with him. His contributions to Calgary, Alberta and Canada are remarkable and he left a legacy that few can hope to achieve. I remember him most as a straight shooter who was passionate about his family, the land and all things Albertan. He was a gracious host and he lived his life to the fullest. We hope that fond memories of Don will help to sustain you during this difficult time of bereavement. We know you must all be so proud to have called him your husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather.

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  8. Brian and Jean Quigley :

    Shan and family,
    Our thoughts are with all of you at this time.
    He was an amazing man.

    Brian and Jean Quigley

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  9. To Shan and family,
    We offer our condolences to you on the passing of this fine man who contributed so much to his community and family. I was glad to have known him through his and my work with the Calgary Stampede.
    Don Moore

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  10. Barbara Fetherstonhaugh :

    Dear Shan and family,
    We were saddened at the news of your Donald’s passing. Please know that we are thinking of you all at this sad time.
    Sincerely
    Don and Barbara Fetherstonhaugh

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  11. Marion Rogers :

    Dearest Shan, Pam, Gretchen, Jay, Jill and your families all, It is with a complex combination of profound sadness and grateful thanks that I remember Don. So many wonderful memories to treasure going back more than 40 years – Stampede volunteering; back country lodges; dinners in the mountains; and so much more. But I’m smiling as I write this because I have no doubt that Vic and Claude had Don out on the trails the moment he arrived – Vic carrying the heaviest pack; Claude the best dressed with lobster sandwiches; and Don with the coldest beer – all vying to be “First In”:) Happy Trails to you Don. And may the love and support of all the Cross friends carry your family gently through this most difficult.
    With my love and respect,
    Marion Rogers

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  12. Jocelyn Armstrong :

    So very sorry for your loss. I remember spending weekends at your ranch with Jill as a kid and The family. The Armstrong’s send their deepest condolences. Thinking of you all.

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  13. Dear Shan and Family.Wewere very sorry to learn about Donald’s passing.Our friendship goes back a long time ago but it will not forgotten. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family..Ken Carter

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  14. Rob and Alison Allison :

    Dear Shan and family,
    Alison and I were saddened to learn of Don’s passing. I have had the pleasure of knowing Don all of my life and the opportunity to enjoy his unique charm and personality on many occasions both social and professional. Our families have been blessed to share in the lives of some very special individuals. Donald was certainly one of them. All of us will miss him but remember him with great affection as an extraordinary example of, “Alberta’s Best”. A tip of our hats to Don as we bid him, “Happy Trails”.

    Sincere condolences,

    Rob and Alison

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  15. Donald was always a class gentleman and will be missed.

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  16. I heard today of your Dads passing , I remember
    the kind man he was, and very happy to see us at the farm.
    Playing football in your back yard, Jay that was fun. Anyway
    thinking of your family today, Take care, Your old friend Bruce.

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  17. Steve and Rene Edwards :

    Shan, sincere condolences to you and your family on Donald’s passing. We have many fond memories of time spent with you both during your long association with the Calgary Stampede. We always appreciated his kind and thoughtful approach and the gracious manner he unfailingly displayed.
    We regret we are unable to attend the celebration of life as we are out of town but we will be thinking of you and your family as you navigate the days ahead.

    Steve and Rene

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  18. Sherri Zickefoose and Doug Levitt :

    Such an honour to have visited with Don through the years. A true gentleman and a wonderful spirit. He will be so missed, but never forgotten. Much love to all the Crosses, Thompsons and Pam and Hector.

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  19. Shan,
    Sincere condolences.
    Don was a good, good man.

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  20. Shan and all your family,
    I always appreciated Don’s friendliness when we saw him at Hereford events. May your happy memories comfort you at this difficult time.
    sincere condolences,
    JoAnn Jones

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  21. Dearest Shan and family,
    Don was a gem. I had known him for most of my years, as he was a favourite of my parents in our perambulations around cattle pens and fields. As a result, I was introduced to your world through our collective interests in the Hereford breed. What a great thing to have in common. Denise joins me in sending our love and respect, and our condolences at this time. Unfortunately we are both out of town on Sunday, so will not be able to join you, but rest assured we will be there with you in spirit!

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