William Peter Ridgway Cross
It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Mr. William Peter Ridgway Cross of Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Peter, a beloved husband, father, uncle, and caring grandfather left this earth Tuesday, December 29th, 2020, in Philadelphia at the age of seventy-nine. We are comforted that Peter will be met in Heaven by his groundbreaking father, Mr. William Peter Cross (Bill) and mother, Mrs. Inez Papall Campbell both of Philadelphia, his beloved daughter, Audra and his sister, Ms. Balene McCormick.
Peter is survived by his beautiful wife, Mrs. Lee Carol Cross. Peter will be missed by his four children and their spouses, daughter, Mrs. Samantha and Mr. Joseph Hobbs; son, Mr. Peter Ridgway and Mrs. Meg Cross; son, Mr. Steven and Mrs. Meredith Cross; daughter, Mrs. Allison and Mr. Noah Lieske, and his cherished companion pet Coco, who is now in the loving arms of his family.
Peter was blessed to enjoy his “Lucky Seven” grandchildren. Peter is remembered by his grandson, Mr. Joseph Ridgway and Mrs. Elizabeth Hobbs; grandson, Mr. Peter Ridgway Cross Jr.; grandson, Mr. Harry Renner Cross; grandson, Mr. Sebastian William F. Lieske; granddaughter, Jule Eden Lieske; grandson, Weston Ridgway Cross; grandson, Porter Liam Cross. Peter will be remembered fondly by his nephew, Mr. Peter McCormick; niece, Mrs. Carolyn McCormick; nephew, Mr. John Harris Jr.; and brother-in-law, Mr. John Harris.
It is difficult to present a life so large and accomplished without missing a moment touched, built, or explored by Peter. Peter enjoyed a wonderful childhood exploring the Potomac and Hudson Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. He set sail as a young boy from the quiet streets of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia where he was educated at Chestnut Hill Academy in the class of 1959. During those spring and summer breaks of the 1950’s aboard the family yacht, the “Christmas Tree”, his character took root. Peter’s parents inspired creativity and adventure in both of their children throughout their lives. The family mapped, fished, hunted, and camped along the way. Peter’s mother, Inez’s pots and pans mingled with the ship’s sails lines. Peter’s lifelong love of the ocean began in these special times.
Peter’s Father, Bill Cross would become Vice Commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club. Peter would one day marry his beloved Lee in a lavish winter ceremony surrounded by friends and family. Peter enjoyed his life long membership there deeply.
Enlisting in the Navy after attending Pennsylvania State University, Peter was stationed at the Nuclear submarine outfit in New London, CT. In the Navy, Peter’s imagination and engineering education progressed. After his military service, Peter founded the Electric Corporation of America which led to a successful career as a designer, builder, engineer, entrepreneur, and later real estate developer.
At work Peter was aggressive, creative, and successful. However, in family and friendships Peter was known to be a private person. Those that had the enjoyment of his shine even briefly, were treated to his humor, ideas, and generosity. Peter and Lee hosted many friends at their home, Featherfield Farm in Blue Bell, weekends at their bayfront summer home in Ocean City, NJ, sailing trips around the British Virgin Islands, and winter adventures on their yacht The Argosy hailing from Palm Beach. The Argosy would cruise the Palm Beaches, The Chesapeake Bay, New York City, Maine, and their forever favorite, Nantucket Island. Peter and Lee continued to host friends and their growing family to beach sunsets at their beautiful winter home in Naples.
Peter’s passions were always first as a husband and father, then a businessman and friend. Separately, Peter held in high regard his positions as a Navy Veteran, Freemason, and Yachtsman. Peter was a member of St. Thomas’ Church in Whitemarsh, PA, The Corinthian Yacht Club, The Philadelphia Cricket Club and the Philadelphia Aviation Country Club at Wings Field.
It is with great sorrow that our entire family says goodbye. We will forever rejoice in our loving memories and continue to be inspired by his life of creativity and love of work.
In a private GRAVESIDE SERVICE, Peter was laid to rest with a final salute on January 2, 2021, in St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Whitemarsh, PA.
Memorials may be directed to Angel Flight East 1501 Narcissa Road Blue Bell, PA 19422.
I am sending this from half way around the world, and I only heard the sad news recently. I knew Mr. Cross from the late 1960s into the early 1970s. We were neighbors, where he had converted an old, stone mill into a lovely home (on the corner of Route 73/Skippack Pike and Cathcart Road. I have very fond memories of our two families getting together during that time when the area was much more rural than it is now. I have not seen anyone in the Cross Family in a very long time now, but I know that my mother and father are very sad, as they were very close to Mr. Cross for years. From half way ’round the world, my thoughts are with the family. I hope to see you to express my sentiments in person some day.
I am beyond saddened to hear of this news. Peter, aka: Piggy Bear was a very special man and a best friend to my dear and belated father, aka: “Boogie Bear” to Peter and Lee. I’m not sure words could describe the energy that Peter brought to life- a remarkable and unique individual he was, and I thank him for many fond memories. My love goes out to Lee, Peter Jr., Samantha, Steven, and Allison- I hope he is reunited with GHL III and they are challenging each other to a race up a steep hill in 4th gear on a Moke in the FWIs 🙂
My sincere and heartfelt condolences.