Tula Mae Cross was born in Indianapolis on January 12, 1925 but no one believed that she was 93. She was vivacious, independent, curious and active until her death on May 5th of a sudden heart attack at her home at the Stratford in Carmel.
She was the daughter of Hardy and Edna Robbins both Evangelical United Brethren ministers. She met her future husband, Merle Cross, at their church; both later graduated from Tech High School and were married after his service in the US Army Air Corps during WWII.
She held clerical positions at Ayres department store during the war and at IPS 33 after she was married. In 1957, she began a 33 year career at Jefferson National Insurance Company serving as
executive secretary to the president. Lifelong friends from the company survive her.
Merle passed away in 1987 and retirement followed a few years later as did her active senior years. She enjoyed volunteering three years with Easterseals Crossroads and in the mid-90's she became a volunteer liaison for families in the surgery department at St. Vincent Carmel Hospital and did so until last year, over 30 years. She valued loyalty.
In addition to volunteering she took month long road trips through the west, travel to see her family in Grand Junction, Colorado and trips to Singapore, London, Paris, and her special place Myrtle Beach. She loved to shop, read "real books on paper", have animated discussions, work crossword puzzles and be with friends and family.
She was loved and will be missed by her son Robert and daughter-in-law Helene in Indianapolis and daughter Nancy Whitmore, grandsons Brian (Julie) Whitmore and Jim (Fanny) Whitmore and great-grandchildren Ben, Lauren and Helene Whitmore all in Grand Junction. She is also survived by her cousin Linda Brooks Newkirk, sister-in-law Rita Cross and her family as well as other family and friends.
A visitation will held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 10th at Leppert Mortuary Nora, 740 East 86th Street, Indianapolis. A memorial celebration officiated by Reverend Teri Thomas, pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church will begin at 1:00 PM. Burial will follow at Washington Park East Cemetery. In lieu of flowers consider a donation in her honor to Indy Reads.
It was my pleasure to know Tula Mae and work with her at Jefferson National for 10 years. She was a woman of integrity, well liked, and will be missed by all who knew her. She was so vibrant and full of life. I feel fortunate to have been friends with her. My condolences to her family. Ruth Clay
She was the classiest woman I ever knew. She was always active and engaged and busy , more often than not it was doing something for someone else. Aunt Tula shared herself in more ways than any one of us knows as she also kept her activities and relationships very private. She will be missed immensely.
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