Steven Charles Cross
December 20, 1942 – May 28, 2020
Age 77 of Minneapolis, passed away at sunset on May 28th, 2020, due to pancreatic cancer.
Steve was born December 20, 1942, in Ottumwa, Iowa, to Joseph H. and Celestine T. (Stevens) Cross. He was preceded in death by his parents. He grew up in Ottumwa where he went to St. Mary’s Grade School where he was active in Scouting. He graduated from Walsh Catholic High School there in 1961 in a class of 41. Reunions of the members of his high school class were frequent and he organized many.
In 1965, he graduated with a B.A. from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. While there, he was active in intercollegiate debate and served on the Student Board of Governors – the student governing body.
In 1968 he graduated from Creighton’s Law School with a J.D. degree.
In 1988 he received a M.A. in public administration from Hamline University.
From 2004 through 2012, he took courses in Political Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. His final total was 26 semester hours – all without participating in any degree program. It was just because of his love of learning.
He served in the United States Navy from 1968 through 1972, including “365 and a wake-up” in DaNang, Vietnam, from May 6, 1970, to May 6, 1971. He received a Navy Commendation Medal for his service there. He provided legal services to the Navy including many ships at sea – landing on carrier decks many times.
He met his wife, Moira (Maynard), in Debate Club, when they were both undergraduate students at Creighton. They were married on July 22, 1973. They had three children: Amanda, Patrick, and Andrew (Lee Snyder); and have a grandson, Luke. He is also survived by his brother Tom (Jill Boitz) and two nephews, Jason and Aaron, and their mother Connie (Horrabin) Cross.
Steve was Secretary of the Iowa Senate from 1975 to 1978. Following that, he was hired by the Minnesota Legislature to be Minnesota’s Revisor of Statutes. In that position, he was in charge of a large professional staff that drafted, compiled, and published Minnesota’s laws, statutes, and administrative rules. MN’s law books have modern indexing and language thanks to his work. In 1992, due to inevitable political change he lost a job he truly loved. He had great personal and professional struggles following that. However, he was able to turn his interest in building computers from scratch into a new direction and subsequently worked as a Novel certified systems engineer. He also enjoyed a significant role volunteering for many years using his law background at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration’s Regional Counsel’s office.
Steve cared about making things better. One project was to reimagine state government and create a new social contract (constitution) for the citizens of Iowa. He also envisioned and advocated for a community oven for his neighborhood to share.
Steve was an avid reader, gardener, bread baker, thinker and writer. As a writer, he wrote many short stories and essays, and a stage play. He was published several times in the Des Moines Register and other Iowa press, and his short story, “Discharges and Love Beads” won 2nd place in the 2016 Minneapolis Veterans Creative Arts Competition & Exhibition.
Many thanks to Fairview Hospice and the Grace A Team who provided Steve and our whole family with beautiful care and support, even amidst the COVID pandemic.
Interment of his ashes in the St. Joan of Arc Church memorial garden took place on June 10th. A memorial for his entire circle of friends and family will occur when we can gather together.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested to Fair Fight Action and Black Voters Matter Fund . (Published in the Star Tribune on June 14, 2020)