Ever since she was a 20-something lass living in Ireland, Peggy Cross has been on the move. Her first big journey took her across the Atlantic on the ship, the St.Mary, to the United States, where she settled in Seattle, Washington. There she met Junior Cross while she worked in a restaurant. After a brief engagement, the two were married. When Peggy wrote her name on the marriage certificate, she was signing up for an adventure that her wildest dreams couldn’t have imagined. Junior was a fisherman who liked to venture into new territories, fisheries and technology. Peggy followed her husband to Newport, Oregon, Homer, Mississippi, South Carolina, the Philippines, Bermuda, Hawaii Idaho and to Kodiak — twice.
Now a widow, (Junior died a little over a year ago) Peggy is living a new adventure. This fall she moved to Eastern Washington with her daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Jim Poulos.
Peggy said she was sad to leave Kodiak. “I’m sad to leave anywhere ... When you get old like me, you do as you’re told. It will be a change.”
But Peggy has siblings in the Pacific Northwest, so she often will be around family. She also has two sisters who live in Ireland, which she plans to visit when she is able.
Peggy was 26 when she was given the opportunity to move from Ireland to America. Her oldest brother had already made the move. When he and his wife visited the family in Ireland, they would tell us “how beautiful it was,” in America, said Peggy.
When Peggy’s mother asked if she’d like to go to America, she declined.
“I didn’t want to leave mom and dad,” Peggy recalled. “My mom said, ‘Why don’t you go; it will be a good experience.’”
Peggy, who was working in London at the time, finally embraced the idea of moving to America. She came here in 1961. Not long after her arrival she met Junior Cross.
Peggy can thank her late husband for instilling her with a sense of adventure.
According to her daughter, Anna Vinberg, Peggy was not one for change. Junior was able to woo her out of her “comfort zone.”
Peggy admitted that, thanks to Junior, she was able to see many interesting places in the world.
Anna said her parents “did more in one lifetime than most people would ever dream of.”
The Crosses accomplished a lot while they lived in Kodiak. They first moved here in the 1970s and, after living in other places around the world, returned here in 2012.
During the Crosses’ first Kodiak stint, Peggy worked with Eleanor King at the Kodiak High School cafeteria. She served as president of the Fishermen’s Wives. Junior did well as a fisherman, gaining respect and admiration from the younger men and women in the fleet.
Reflecting over her adventurous life with Junior Cross, Peggy notes they encountered a few mishaps along the way, including two boat sinkings. The last occurred near Cordova in 2010.
The Crosses came to Kodiak in 2011 to attend a wedding. At the insistence of their daugthter, Heather (Bunting) they returned here in 2012. It was like coming home, said Peggy. “There’s alot of good people here. We had good times here. We had our ups and downs.”
Thoughts of Kodiak will bring smiles, laughter and tears to Peggy.
During their last years here, the Crosses lost their daughter, Heather, to cancer, and Junior departed this earthly life in the fall of 2018 after a long battle with Parkinsons. Peggy gets teary-eyed when she she says “goodbye” to Kodiak.
“It’s been a glad time and a sad time,” she said. “People were very kind. Junior had a lot of friends, especially in the fishing community.”
Peggy advised her Kodiak friends to “enjoy life while you can. Be good to one another. Make lots of friends. You can take friends everywhere. We had them in Newport, and we had them here. We still have them. Just be kind to each other. Enjoy the weather and fishing. I’ll be back to see you guys.”