TOP PHOTO: State Rep. Dennis Powers, center, recalled Jerry Cross as a mentor and friend. The bridge that spans the interstate in Caryville was dedicated in memory of Cross on Monday.

State Sen. Ken and and State Rep. Dennis Powers hand delivered the bridge dedication proclamation to Jerry Cross’s widow Brenda Cross.

By Charlotte Underwood

CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – A crowd gathered in Caryville on Monday for a bridge dedication ceremony held in honor of Jerry Cross. The bridge in Caryville that spans the interstate has been named the Jerry Cross Memorial Bridge.

The Jerry Cross Memorial Bridge spans I-75 in Cross’s beloved Caryville.

Cross, who passed away in 2017, was a long-time public servant, not only for his county and state, but also his nation. A Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star recipient, Cross was also a school teacher, and a county commissioner; he served as Campbell County Mayor, a state representative and held many positions in civic clubs and organizations. 

State Sen. Ken Yager and State Rep. Dennis Powers were present for the bridge dedication, as was County Mayor E.L. Morton and Caryville Mayor Bobby Stooksbury and several members of the Caryville board. All spoke of Cross as being a special mentor and friend and a “dedicated public servant to his community, county, state and nation.”

Family members of the late Jerry Cross attended the bridge dedication in his honor in Caryville on Monday.

“Jerry had an extraordinary career in public service, serving in local government, state government and his nation,” Yager said. He also spoke of Cross giving him advice over the years and of them working together in government.

Stooksbury recalled Cross as mentoring him and giving advice. 

“Jerry was always very gracious when he gave me advice; he would always tell me the truth,” Stooksbury recalled. He also said “Caryville was first in everything Jerry did.”

State Senator Ken Yager reads a proclamation during Monday mornings Bridge dedication in honor of former County Mayor and former state representative Jerry Cross.

“This naming of the bridge for Jerry has been in the works for a couple of years, and I’m glad to see it finally happen,” said State Rep. Dennis Powers.

County Mayor E.L. Morton commended Cross for his service to his county, state and nation and all the contributions Cross made to Campbell County. 

“He served in all capacities with distinction because he never forgot who put him there. He cared about the people and he showed that by what he did for this county,” Yager said. 

It was said the bridge can be seen from Jerry Cross’s home.

Powers and Yager presented Jerry’s widow Brenda Cross with the proclamation.

She and other family members said they were honored by the dedication.

Don Cross said his brother Jerry was always “community-minded,” even when he was younger.

“I miss him. He was the best brother you could have. We always got along good. Jerry was always giving back to the people,” Don Cross said.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/20/2021-6AM)