Donald Cross

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 60-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.
In lieu of flowers, 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: (
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Donald’s life on Sunday, October 28th from 2:00 to 4:00pm at The Ranchmen's Club - 710 13th Avenue SW. Calgary.
As Donald would say, happy trails!

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