Conni (Devlin) Cross

Conni Devlin Cross, 87, has gone to Heaven to be with God and her other family members who are waiting there for her.

Conni was born in Lake Placid on Sept. 16, 1931 to Mae and Hurley Devlin. She loved Lake Placid and its people with a passion not exceeded by anyone. She graduated from Lake Placid Central School in 1950 and then attended and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in radio and television, but decided she wanted to work with children, so she earned her master’s degree in education at Plattsburgh State.

During her college years, while on summer break, she worked for the Park District where she was the director of activities at the playground on Parkside Drive. She was loved by all of the kids and she used her teaching skills to guide and influence the children in their relationships with other people.

After she finished college, she began her teaching career at the elementary school in Balston Spa.  She later moved to West Friendship, Maryland to teach. She stayed there for 10 years then moved home to her beloved Lake Placid. She taught kindergarten at the Keene Central from 1968 through 1988 when she retired. She kept active in the community by participating on several local boards. She was awarded many community “achievement “ awards including being inducted into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame. 

In 1969 she met her husband Ben. They were not only husband and wife, but best friends and soulmates. They were married in February 1972 and began the Wine and Spirit Shoppe on Saranac Avenue across from the Custard and Mustard. 

Conni, with the help of a family friend (Leslie Thivierge) saw that many of the flowers planted along Main Street were in poor shape, so Conni decided to help by loading her truck with watering jugs and she and Leslie spent a whole summer watering and taking care of the flowers. She decided that the job was too much for one person because Leslie was moving downstate for a teaching job. Conni, with the help of attorney Norm Hess formed a nonprofit organization which was known as the Lake Placid Community Beautification Association. It was an immediate success with much needed funds being donated to support the costs of plants, materials, a used truck and salaries for two employees, which soon increased to three and then four. This all started in 1988 and is still going strong under the great supervision of Charise Bixler who took over in 2016 as Conni’s failing health would no longer allow her to dedicate all the time and energy like she had done for about 28 years. 

She was very proud of what she and all of her employees accomplished to make Lake Placid a beautiful place for visitors and locals. She was routinely getting calls and letters from people across the country asking for her advice on how they could do the same thing in their communities.

Conni was pre-deceased by her parents Mae and Hurley Devlin, her brother Matt Devlin, her sister Linda Devlin Collins. and a cousin James Devlin.

She is survived by her husband Ben Cross; her stepson Jim; her brother Mike Devlin (Laurie); her nieces  Kelly Collins, Kim Collins, Kirsten Devlin Cowles, Paige Devlin and Alyssa Devlin; a nephew Matt Devlin Jr. (Sue); two cousins: Jeryann Devlin and Madeline LaHart; as well as two sister-in-laws: Pat Roy (Jim) and their children Heidi and Jimmer (Heather) and Susan Smith  (Ward) and her children Lisa (Mark), Michael, Jennifer (Darren) and Tommy and Leslie Thivierge, who has been a big part of, and a joy to have as part of the Cross family since 1992. 

Conni’s efforts and dedication to the beauty of Lake Placid will continue on through the years.

  Conni loved life, people, Lake Placid and God, who is taking care of her now and for eternity.

  Calling hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 at the M. B. Clark lnc. funeral home in Lake Placid. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7 at St. Agnes Catholic Church. The Rev. John Yonkovig will officiate.  Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery in May. 

  Friends and relatives are asked to send flowers, and or make donations to Lake Placid Beautification, Suite 303, Town Hall, Lake Placid, NY 12946 or Tri-Lakes Humane Society, 255 George Lapan Memorial Highway, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 in her memory.

  Relatives and friends are invited to share a memory, order flowers, upload a photograph or leave condolences at www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com.