Joann's Story

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Joann England O'Connell, age 90, passed away on Jan. 28, 2018 at her home in Grosse Pointe. Born Aug. 9, 1927 in Detroit, she was the eldest of three daughters born to Gladys Clark England and Isaac Hugh England.
She graduated from Traverse City High School in 1945 and attended Denison University.
A beautiful young adult at age 20, she represented her home town as Miss Traverse City in the 1948 National Cherry Festival.
She married James Oliver Cross in 1949 and three children blessed the couple, Sheldon James Cross, Charles Oliver Cross and Amy Jane Cross. Later in life she married Joseph O'Connell and the couple resided in Troy.
Joann enjoyed a successful career in sales, working mainly in the Troy, Birmingham and Detroit areas.
She had an adventurous spirit that fueled her love of downhill skiing, sailing and soaring. She earned her glider pilot's license in 1964 and had been a member of The National Ski Patrol since 1963. To replenish her spirit she spent many hours fly fishing on the Manistee River.
Joann had talent in many areas. She loved to sing and music was her greatest passion. She had the ability to produce a song for any occasion, often embellished by her wonderful sense of humor. All who knew her found her to be an inspiration.
She was an avid golfer, great bridge player, loved to cook and maintained a beautiful home. A great joy in later years was living close to her daughter so they could spend time together.
Joann is survived by her son, Sheldon J. Cross; daughter, Amy J. Feeney (Thomas); granddaughter, Constance J. Bingham; sister, Shelley Barr McKinney (Robert); stepdaughter, Karen Gates (Bruce) and their three children. She also leaves behind many friends, cousins, nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.
Besides her parents and beloved grandparent, Elliott S. Clark, she was preceded in death by James O. Cross and Joseph O'Connell; her son, Charles O. Cross; and sister, Molly England Pulcipher.
Her daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Thomas, hosted a gathering of friends and family on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. A memorial service and celebration will take place at a later date. At that time her ashes will be interred in the Remembrance Garden of the First Congregational Church of Traverse City.
Please visit the online guestbook at www.cremationmichigan.com.
Published on February 4, 2018
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