July 3, 2014

Cross family dedicates walking path

By Jerry W. Kram

Phyllis Jean Cross knew the value of a good walk. That’s why her family dedicated a walking path in her name that will boost the health and physical fitness of Parshall residents for generations to come.

Cross, who was a veteran, nurse and mental health advocate, was passionate about helping people get and stay healthy, said her niece, Karen Atkinson. Cross was a the oldest of 10 siblings who grew up in Elbowoods before the construction of the Garrison Dam. She joined the United States Air Force and served in Germany during the Korean War, flying 120 missions as a flight nurse. She received a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Colorado. She was appointed to a federal public health position by President Jimmy Carter. She passed away in 2008.

Among the honors Cross earned in her lifetime were a Wonder Woman Award and a Voice for Indian Health Award. She helped found the University of North Dakota’s Indians into Medicine Program.

The Phyllis Cross Centennial Walking Path will start at the Parshall High School and end at the Cenex Convenience Store. Eventually it will extend to the elementary school for a total round trip length of nearly seven miles.

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