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Ruth Fuller Cross, Aug. 7, 1909 -- Jan. 30, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

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Ruth Fuller Cross, the matriarch of the Cross/Fuller family, died Friday, Jan. 30, in Eureka Springs. She was 99.

Mrs. Cross was born Ruth Marie Fuller on Aug. 7, 1909, in Eureka Springs, daughter of Claude Albert and May (Obenshain) Fuller. She was born in the Fuller House at 300 Spring St., which was built in 1904 for her father, by his father, Wilmont P. Fuller.

The last several years she has been sleeping in the same room in which she was born.

Mrs. Cross graduated from W.H. Reid (the old Red Brick) High School in Eureka Springs in 1926. She then attended and received an Associates Degree from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.

When her father, Claude A. Fuller, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1928, she joined her parents in Washington, D.C. While there she met John Storrs Cross, of South Carolina, who had graduated from Auburn University with a Civil Engineering Degree. They were married in the First Baptist Church in Eureka Springs on Dec. 23, 1932.

From that marriage there were two children, John Fuller Cross of Eureka Springs and Captain Claude Christopher Cross USN (Ret) of Charleston, S.C.

After a two year period living in Hot Springs, they moved to Washington, D.C., and in 1939 built a home in Bethesda, Md. She lived there periodically until five years ago, when she returned permanently to the family home in Eureka Springs.

Mrs. Cross always maintained her legal residence in Eureka Springs, as did her husband and son John.

Mrs. Cross was a housewife until 1953, when she, with her husband and two sons, built Riverview Resort at the US62 bridge on the White River, when a portion of the highway was relocated and the new bridge was built. She and her son John ran it seasonally for 25 years, with part-time assistance from her husband and son Claude.

Her husband, (who had served in the U.S. Department of the Interior, the US Navy during World War II, attaining the rank of captain, and the U.S. State Department), was appointed by President Eisenhower in 1958 to the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Cross died in 1976.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, her younger sister Dorothy Fuller Mathews and one grandson, Thomas Christopher Cross.

She was a charter and 77-year member of the Eureka Springs Abendschone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a past director of the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of Eureka Springs Board of Directors (now Cornerstone Bank).

In addition to her two sons, she is survived by seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Nelson's Chapel of the Springs in Eureka Springs. Funeral services will be Friday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Philip Wilson officiating. Interment will follow in the Eureka Springs I.O.O.F. Cemetery, under the direction of Nelson Funeral Service.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Eureka Springs, at P.O. Box 208, Eureka Springs, AR 72632.