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Elizabeth S. Cross
February 5, 1950 ~ July 22, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
1 Tree, Flower, or Condolence has been shared with support of Elizabeth's family - View on Tribute Wall
Elizabeth Sophia Cross, fondly known as "Betty," was born February 5, 1950 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the middle child of George Lee Cross Jr. and Sara Merle Adams Cross and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. From an early age Betty loved to read and was often found lying on her bed reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. She was fascinated by science, history, and languages in particular.
Betty attended Cross Keys High School where she earned many academic honors. She had several letters to the editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published during her teen years. Betty then earned a BA in history from Davidson College, an MA in journalism from the University of Georgia, and an MS in computer science from Georgia State University. Throughout this time her ardor for current events grew. She frequently wrote about and debated with others her views on the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and the Vietnam War. As an adult she brought her commitment to these issues into action by participating in local and national peace and justice issues. For several years in the early 1980s Betty worked with other activists in documenting and publishing a compendium of hate crimes in Georgia. Betty's career in computer programming was primarily spent working for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina where she worked until taking an early retirement in 2010 to work fulltime as a writer.
Betty began informally studying Hebrew with her father in the 1970s, first out of her love of languages and the lively discourse she enjoyed with her dad. By the age of 44, she committed herself to Judaism having found a strong kinship and connection to the faith which she carried through the rest of her life.
While Betty loved the world about her, she was often engaged in an active and highly creative internal world of her own. She wrote five novels in the genres of science fiction and fantasy throughout her adulthood, three of them published and two close to ready for publication when she passed. They explored complex and critically relevant themes of equality, homophobia, and gender. Betty also wrote poetry and fan fiction. She remained eager to continue her life as a writer.
As Betty's health began to deteriorate, she thought deeply about her purpose in life. She frequently asked her sister, "Do you ever wonder what it's all about?" She remarked that though writing had been her passion and purpose, people were as well. She expressed her love for her family and friends and said they all gave her purpose. She said, "God gives us people in our lives so that we know He loves us."
Our Betty passed away peacefully on the morning of July 22, 2023. Her parents, her wife Helen Lee Simmons, and her niece Gwendolyn Diane Cross predeceased her.
She is survived by her brother G. Lee Cross III (Anne); sister Sara Cross; nephews, Hal Cross (Christy) and Colin Williams (Jessica); nieces, Erin Williams Benson (Bill) and Heather Williams (Paul); grandnieces, Vivienne Benson, Emaline Benson, and Gwen Cross; stepdaughter, Catherine Simmons Michelsen (Paul); and grandson Asher Michelsen. Betty will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by them, her extended family, and numerous friends and followers of her written work.
A memorial and ice cream social to celebrate her love for the treat, will be held Saturday, July 29th from 2 to 4 pm at the Winterville Cultural Center located at 371 North Church Street Winterville, GA 30683. We will be so touched to welcome one and all to join us in remembering our Betty.