Judith B. Cross of the Town of Tonawanda, a Spanish teacher at Sweet Home Senior High School for 34 years, died Saturday (Jan. 22, 2000) in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a 13-year battle with cancer and related heart problems. She was 59.
The former Judith B. Nablo was born blind. A Buffalo native, she graduated with Regents diplomas in academics and business from the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia in 1958.
She was a 1962 graduate of the University of Buffalo, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish. Two years later, she received her master's in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Mrs. Cross taught thousands of students over the years, with only brief interruptions since she started her career in 1962.
In 1971, she took a one-year leave of absence to serve as a VISTA volunteer in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she taught English to Spanish-speaking adults.
She then returned to Sweet Home, where she served as chairwoman of the foreign language department for most of the remaining 27 years of her career.
She served as the leader of numerous foreign-exchange visits and as faculty adviser to the Spanish Honor Society, among many other leadership positions. She also was a nominee for the National Teacher Recognition Awards for the past two years.
Mrs. Cross was an active member of First Trinity Lutheran Church, where she participated in the choir and other groups.
She is survived by her husband, Kenneth A.; two sons, Kevin J. of Amherst and Stephen V. of Weehawken, N.J.; her parents, Vernon and Alice Nablo of Winter Haven, Fla; a sister, Joyce Bradley of Dallas; a brother, David Nablo of Akron; and five stepchildren.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in First Trinity Lutheran Church, 1570 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda.