BANGOR, Maine — Brent Cross, a well-known businessman and community supporter, died of cancer on Thanksgiving Day in a Boston hospital.
Cross, 58, was executive vice president at Cross Insurance Agency, a Bangor-based firm owned by his family. He started his career there in 1979, working for his father, Woodrow, who founded the company. Cross Insurance now has more than 35 locations across New England and more than 700 employees.
John Baldacci, Maine’s former governor, first met Cross in the late 1970s when Baldacci was a member of Bangor City Council. Baldacci said he’ll remember Cross as an “ambassador and cheerleader” for Bangor.
Cross, who was just starting his career, was active in Bangor’s Police Athletic League boxing and already becoming “very involved in community and civic affairs,” Baldacci said.
“He was just a very giving, unselfish individual,” Baldacci added. “We’ll miss him and miss his contributions.”
Current city officials including councilors Joe Baldacci and Joe Perry also expressed their consolations and credited Cross for his hard work on behalf of the community.
Perry said in a recent Facebook post that Cross was one of the “finest people [he had] ever known.”
“Brent was someone you could count on for anything and spend his life helping and serving others,” Perry added.
Cross is a member of the Husson University Business Hall of Fame — the university where he also was an alumnus, adjunct professor and trustee — was founding president of the Bangor Breakfast Rotary, and served on numerous boards in the area.
As Cross Insurance grew by acquiring smaller firms throughout New England and opening regional offices, so did its regional influence. The company eventually built business ties with the area’s major sports franchises.
After learning of Cross’s death, leaders of New England teams sent along their condolences, which were printed in an obituary published in the Bangor Daily News and Boston Globe.
Among those were Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who called Cross one of New England’s “truly exceptional business people and marketers.”
Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins, said Cross “became a friendly face and a fixture at many games and events.” Jacobs called Cross “a great colleague, business partner and friend.”
Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said Cross had a love for his team and Fenway Park, “and that love was mutual.”
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Bangor Baptist Church on Broadway. Family and friends are invited to a reception immediately after the service. Cross will be buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor.
He is survived by his wife, five children, four siblings, and his father.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.