On Saturday, May 27, 2023, a great soul departed from us. Jim Cross left a legacy of honesty and excellence.
Jim was born in the year of the dragon, and he lived up to it. He was raised in San Francisco when it was arguably the intellectual and cultural capital of California, if not the nation. He lived within easy walking distance of Golden Gate Park and the Haight. Jim made the most of the sixties, even earning pocket money by washing Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche.
He attended Catholic high school and often referred to Father Becker’s wisdom. This added depth to his complex ethical character, which served him well. Jim was remarkably athletic and played NCAA basketball at the highest level.
The man had a Puckish wit and a quixotic sense of adventure. He traveled to his mother’s native Germany, where he worked in agriculture and shrewdly observed their society. The opportunities to hitchhike through Eastern Europe gave him many delightful adventures to recount. After several thoracic vertebrae were crushed in an accident, he patiently endured suffering and pain.
He earned a degree in Naturopathy and then acupuncture certification. Jim happily shared his knowledge, teaching anatomy and physiology skillfully and with compassion. His former students at Feather River College have left multiple testimonies to his kindness and humor. Jim had an open and penetrating mind. He was unafraid to take chances – or to admit ignorance … or to be just wrong. Consequently, that was a rare event.
For years, Jim wrote a regular column for Townsend Letter. These are a tangible record of his knowledge and insight – and humor. He lectured for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. He corresponded daily with his circle of friends, sharing videos and articles covering a wide range of topics. His questions and comments were insightful and thought-provoking.
With so much in his life upon which to focus, Jim’s wife Merle and son Thias were his true center and his heart’s touchstones. We honor them and we grieve for their loss. He cared deeply about his blended family that included Zuri, Xavier, Owen, and Evie. Jim forever delighted in his grandchildren Eli and Otis whose antics were always a delight.
Jim was awake and thoughtful. He was a great friend and a skilled healer. Ever the fan of Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume, Jim had recently quipped that he wasn’t sure whether his heart, when weighed, would be as light as a feather. This friend feels confident that he will not be found wanting.