Jessie Debnam Cross

Published 9:46 pm Monday, March 10, 2014

Jessie Debnam Cross, of the 3100 block of Shore Drive, passed away peacefully on March 7, 2014.



Mrs. Cross was born on May 2, 1906, in Suffolk, to the late Josie Lee Ferguson and Thomas Hall Debnam. She was a member of the first graduating class of Suffolk High School in 1924 and attended both Converse and Farmville State Teachers College. She was a lifelong member of Main Street United Methodist Church, where she married her husband, Hardy Blackwell Cross Jr. Together they enjoyed entertaining family and friends as well as playing bridge, a game at which they both excelled, and she continued to enjoy well into her 90s.

Besides her husband and a nephew, Thomas F. Debnam Jr., Mrs. Cross was predeceased by three half-brothers and a half-sister, as well as her brothers Thomas Ferguson Debnam, Frederick Archer Debnam and Joseph Hall Debnam.


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Having no children of her own, Mrs. Cross was a beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews, all of whom lovingly recall her sense of fun and adventure, as well as sparkling humor. Visiting Jessie was a treat we all looked forward to, as she made us feel we were the most wonderful children in the world.

Her survivors are John H. Debnam, of Wilmington N.C., Josephine D. Champion, of Raleigh, N.C., George F. Debnam, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., Mary Ann D. Eure, of Suffolk, and Rebecca J. Debnam, of Virginia Beach. Also surviving are great- and great-grand-nieces and -nephews.

A funeral service will be conducted in the R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, on Friday, March 14, 2014, at 11 a.m. by the Rev. Myrtle F. Hatcher. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church, 202 N. Main St., Suffolk, VA 23434, or Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., Suffolk VA 23434. Condolences may be registered at