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Thomas R. Cross

Honoring the Lives and Work of Recently Deceased CBA Members

November 2022

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Thomas R. Cross

April 12, 1942–September 27, 2022

After eight decades of a life well lived, Tom Cross passed away peacefully in Colorado Springs on September 27, 2022, with his family by his side. Tom had received a late diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at age 72, and it was almost as though the force of his personality kept the MS at bay until his body was too old to fight it any longer. But a “fighter” is who Tom was to the end. Growing up in the rough city of Flint, Michigan, he had to learn to stand up for himself, and those tough times shaped him into the person he became and the life he pursued as an advocate fighting for others.

Tom received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Michigan. He was then encouraged by others to go to law school because he was always advocating and arguing about something. After graduating from the prestigious University of Michigan Law School, he moved to Colorado.

While working for MetLife in Colorado Springs, a young beauty caught his eye and captured his heart. He married his sweetheart, Patricia Ann Witham, in 1970, and with her loving support, he passed the Colorado bar exam and joined the profession he would be a part of for the next 42 years.

Described as a “legendary lawyer” by a CBA past president, Tom earned his admirable reputation as a family law attorney in Colorado Springs. He went on to serve as president of the El Paso County Bar Association in 1982–83 and then as CBA president in 1991–92, focusing his term on professional ethics. As part of his notable professional career, he also provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services to the underprivileged.

Tom’s service extended beyond the legal community. He served as chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party and was an active proponent of civil rights, which included joining the fight against the passage of Amendment 2 in Colorado. He was also involved in helping transform the Colorado Springs Orchestra in his role as president of what became the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

As dedicated as he was to serving his profession and community, he was an even better father and husband. The only sporting events that mattered more to Tom than his beloved Michigan games were those of his children and grandchildren. He spent countless hours cheering them on in their various endeavors. Family time was paramount, and Tom helped create experiences his family will cherish forever.

In retirement, while he still had his health, Tom split his time between riding his Harley with Pat and relaxing with her at the couple’s Nebraska ranch, where they enjoyed 200 acres, six Clydesdale horses, hay to bale, and frequent visits from family.

Tom is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 52 years, Patricia, along with his children Scott, Stephanie, and Tim. He was an amazing “Pop Pop” to his 10 grandchildren: Brittany, Erika, Victoria, Thomas, Christopher, Natali, Adam, Erin, Cody, and Rowan, who were all fortunate to have special opportunities and numerous experiences with their grandpa. Before his passing, Tom was able to meet his first great grandson, Arthur, and had a great granddaughter on the way.

Tom’s strength and intellect were towering, but his kindness and compassion were fundamental to every decision he made. He lived life to the fullest and didn’t leave anything “in the tank.” As the keystone of his family and a pillar of strength in the community, Tom will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on.

—Submitted by the Cross family