Jan. 06, 1945 Oct. 24, 2020
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Marks Funeral Home Chapel
Rev. D. Hope - Eulogist
Friday, November 6, 2020 between the hours of 11:00am until 1:00pm and Saturday, November 7, 2020 between the hours of 11:00am until 2:00pm
* Limited Seating*
Napoleon Cross was born January 6, 1945 and died October 24, 2020 of extended illness. He was the eighth child born to Malvin and Elnora Lockhart Cross, who preceded him in death. He was raised in the Macedonia Community of McNeil, Arkansas where he joined the church and was baptized at an early age at Macedonia Baptist Church. He was a 1962 graduate of McNeil Southside High School where he excelled as a scholar and an athlete. After attending Grambling State University for one year, he transferred to UAPB (formerly Arkansas AM & N) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he received his bachelor’s in education (health and PE) in 1968. He was a well known basketball player there helping the Golden Lions to win many championships. He then went on to teach and coach for many years. He is known for and very proud of coaching the Stephens Carver Cobras in 1969 and winning a State Championship. He also played in a semi-pro league for Carder Buick out of Searcy, Arkansas for many years. Coach Cross was a teacher and coach at Arkansas State University, Beebe, Arkansas for 13 years. He has obtained several master’s degrees, including a Social Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, and Administration for Principalship from Ohio University. He has also obtained a program degree in Career Based Intervention from the Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
In 1987, he and his family moved to Chillicothe, Ohio and he took a job as Head Basketball Coach and teacher at Chillicothe High School, Chillicothe, Ohio. He went on to be assistant coach to another Championship in Boys basketball in 2008. Cross has worked as a coach of basketball, track and football at various high schools in Arkansas and Ohio. He also ran and was elected to two terms on the Chillicothe City Council. He was a deacon at Zion Baptist Church, Chillicothe, OH and a deacon the Macedonia Baptist Church, Magnolia, AR while there.
He has taught Social Studies, World History, Afro-American History, Sociology and Psychology at various schools in Ohio and Arkansas. He was the Ross County Community Action Program Administrator, the Pickaway-Ross Career Based Intervention Program Coordinator and the Occupation Work Experience Coordinator in Ohio. Most recently, he was employed by the Lafayette County School District Stamps, Arkansas, as a teacher, and head girls basketball and track coach.
He has been married to Roslyn Butler-Cross for 36 years. He was also preceded in death by his brothers Arthur Junior Cross, and Hurlen Cross (Myrtle), and a sister, Jean Paschal. He leaves to morn his death his wife, Roslyn R. Cross, Chillicothe, Ohio; brother, James Cross (Linda) of Magnolia, AR; brother, Vurland Cross (Linda) of Los Angeles, CA; sister, Maxine Carter of Magnolia; and sister, Ruby Adair (Magnolia), and children; Mark Cross of Chicago, Ill, Latonda Davis-Williams (Andre) Little Rock, AR, Mia Jackson (Kelvin) McNeil, AR, Renee Pace, Baltimore, MD, Derrick Browning, Los Angeles, CA, Napoleon Dion Cross (Sharese), Little Rock, AR, Kimyotta Mackey, (Darren), Benton, AR, Robbie Cross, Springfield, IL, Michael Garrison, AR, Jarrod Howell, (Krista), Monroe, OH, Mahogany D. Miller, (Tory) Columbus, OH; many loved grandchildren and great grandchildren and many special nieces and nephews.
He was passionate about teaching young people that their beginnings did not dictate their endings. He reminded everyone that his parents were sharecroppers and that he was always pushed by his parents, the school teachers and the community to push forward and make the best living you can. He believed everyday that you wake up you should find a way to make a living. He said just a month ago that he had never been without a job. He needed to have a place to be everyday, a reason to get up in the morning. He was a very strong man of strength and character. He was very proud to say he never missed a game in high school nor college because of an injury. He just played through it. For over two years, that’s the way he lived with this cancer—playing through it.
Napoleon has loved the Lord with his whole heart. He loved to sing “There’s A Bright Side Somewhere”. Most recently he has been singing “God’s Going to Heal You Everywhere You Hurt” but he is now singing in “The Heavenly Choir”.