OBITUARY: Mary Pearl Cross


“[I believe that] each of us carries a bit of inner brightness, something entirely unique and individual, a flame that’s worth protecting. When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it. When we learn to foster what’s unique in the people around us, we become better able to build compassionate communities and make meaningful change.” ( The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama)

“One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.” (The Light We Carry)

Mary Pearl Cross’s legacy exemplifies this light. She was born on August 4, 1956, in Itta Bena, Mississippi. She was the nineth of eighteen children born to the union of the late Walter Cross, Sr., and the late Rosie L. Thurman Cross.

Mary (aka Little Mary) attended L. S. Rogers Elementary School in Itta Bena, Amanda Elzy High School in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Leflore County High School in Itta Bena. While attending Leflore, she was an active member of the Home Economics Club, the Choir, and the Band. In these organizations, and as a student in general, Mary was well loved and respected. She was an honest, loyal, and caring type of student whose smile and kind nature could light up any room and brighten anyone’s day.

Mary was reared and grounded in the Word of the Lord by a very loving and devout mother. Mother Cross cultivated her children’s upbring by emphasizing the attributes of a Christian as explained by Paul:

Galatians 5:22-23

22. But “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith,

23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The light in Mary’s life reflected each of these elements. During her adolescent years, she accepted Christ as her personal savior, was baptized, and joined the Cosmopolitan Church of Faith in Greenwood under the leadership of the late Bishop Frank Paul Matthews and Elder (Bishop) R. L. Lawson. There, Mary continued growing in these virtues until she relocated with her four children to Oxford, Mississippi and later to Lebanon, Tennessee.

As told by each of her children, the light that Mary carried illuminated the lives of everyone she encountered. It reflected in her spirit as: a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a peaceful neighbor. Over the years, Mary worked as a caregiver, hotel hospitality host, and as a quality control specialist at an agriculture facility where she was praised for being a devoted employee and team worker.

Leisurely, Mary enjoyed: working crossword puzzles, sewing, cooking, gardening, drawing, crafting, and painting. But, most importantly, Mary enjoyed spending quality time with her children and grandchildren – whether it was vacationing with them across country or at family gatherings where Christmas was her favorite.

On Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 1:03 p.m., Mary’s light was forever extinguished as she quietly transitioned from life into eternity.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Sellars Funeral Home in Lebanon, TN at 12:00p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. She is survived by children: Chenchutta Jackson (Marlon) of Mount Juliet, Tn., Charlotta Cross (LiKevin), and Audretta Cross of Lebanon, Tn., Bobby Lloyd Cross (Karen) of Carthage, Tn.; 7 grandsons: Kentarvis J. Cross, Christopher Jackson, Aiden Jackson, Matthew Jackson, Michael McGlarn Jr., Quintarvis McGlarn, and Amarion Cross; 6 granddaughters: Shonteria Cross, Keora Hoskins, Aaliyah Cross, Sharonda Davis, Shakiya Taylor, and Jamya Brassell; 2 great-grand granddaughters: Savhanna Thornton and Cassidy Naomi-Renaye Cross.

Mary is also survived by her siblings: Rosemary Richardson and Loreathy Mack (Harold) of Hitchcock, Tx., Dorothy J. Spencer, Reathy Cross, and Audretta Robinson (Roy) of Greenwood, Ms., Mammie Meeks (Tommy) of Itta Bena, Ms., and Emma Cross of Lansing, Il. Sammie L. Thurman (Daphne) of Fayetteville, N C, Arthur Cross (Rochella), Leandrew Cross (Gwendolyn), and Jerry Cross (Sharon) of Itta Bena, Willie Ed Cross (Linda) of Greenville, Ms., and John Cross (Jessie Mae) of Greenwood.

Mary’s legacy and light will be affectionately remembered by her family, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and friends.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sellars Funeral Home to assist the family with funeral expenses.

Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon TN, 615.444.9393


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