Iris Pappas Cross, 80, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 29th after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Iris was born in Portsmouth, VA on February 12th, 1940 to John and Mary Pappas. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1958 and attended East Carolina Teacher’s College in Greenville, NC where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in early education. She was passionate about her teaching career and taught elementary school in the Nash County school system for 30 years. She was dedicated to her students and greeted each one at the door every morning with a hug because she worried that a lot of them did not get hugs from anyone else.
Iris shared a special love with her only child, Stephen Ingram, whom she adored. She loved being with Stephen and took him everywhere, rarely hiring a babysitter. She especially enjoyed taking him fishing at City Lake in Rocky Mount, NC.
In 1987, Iris reconnected with her college sweetheart David Cross and they were married on December 27, 1988, thirty years after they first met in college. They were happiest when they were together. Iris loved the house they built together at White Lake, NC, and there they enjoyed entertaining friends old and new. Iris loved to go fishing with David, especially at Snead’s Ferry NC where they built a vacation home. Iris was quite the artist and designed both of their homes herself. She also loved to garden and always had a beautiful yard full of flowers, which included of course, a lovely row of purple Irises.
Iris had many wonderful qualities, but our favorite was her wonderful, irreverent sense of humor. Iris simply loved to laugh. Her quick wit is legendary among her family and friends and has left us with many funny and cherished memories.
Iris is predeceased by her parents and her sister-in-law Elizabeth Pappas of Portsmouth, VA. She is survived by her husband David Cross of White Lake, NC; beloved son Stephen, wife Lisa and their children Turner and Carter of Rocky Mount, NC; brother John “Lucky” Pappas of Virginia Beach, VA; step-daughter Kelley Cross McCauley, husband John of Fayetteville, NC and their children Shep and Emma of Charleston, SC; step-daughter Crystal Cross and her children Scott and Drew Fincher of Fayetteville, NC; Nephew Jerry Pappas of Los Angeles, CA; niece Mary Elizabeth Pappas Clarkson, husband Billy Clarkson and their children Anna, Gray and Thomas of St Louis MO, as well as the many beloved sisters-in-law and cousins with whom she loved to laugh.
Funeral services will be conducted graveside on Sunday, January 3rd at 2:30pm at the Elizabethtown City Cemetery. The family will receive friends after the service at the graveside.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bladen We Care, PO Box 1569, Elizabethtown, NC 28337 or Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, PO Box 576, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.
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