In Memoriam: Wilson Cross
Wilson Cross, known at Fermilab for his vibrant personality and dedication to his work, died on June 25 at the age of 55.
Cross worked in the laboratory's Cryogenics Department for 30 years and had cultivated a wealth of knowledge on the job, said his supervisor, Jay Theilacker.
"Some people might get protective of that knowledge," Theilacker said. "But Wilson had no problem teaching people everything he knew in an enthusiastic way."
Cross was involved in building a large number of cryogenic components in the Tevatron, antiproton and superconducting radio-frequency facilities.
Not long after Cross started at Fermilab, he convinced his brother Terry to join him. For the past 10 years, they worked in offices side-by-side.
"He was always happy," Terry Cross said. "He loved what he did and he did it well."
Cross was a fun-loving person, Theilacker said.
"He had the attitude that, if we have to be here at work, we might as well have fun doing it," he said. "If he saw negativity, he would address it and turn it around. That made everyone else's environment better, too."
Cross built a network of people whom he could count on at the laboratory and who relied on his help in return, Theilacker said. One of those people was the Technical Division's Ed Hagler, who continued the friendship he developed with Cross even after he moved to a separate workspace at the laboratory. Cross liked to stop by and remind Hagler of practical jokes from their early days, Hagler said.
Cross was diagnosed with what he called a "treatable but incurable" form of leukemia in 2001. According to those around him, he was determined not to let that get him down.
"He worked right up to the end," Hagler said. "I could tell that that was very important to him."
-- Kathryn Grim