Former state Senator, Baker mayor dies
BAKER - Mike Cross, former Baker mayor and state Senator, has died at 69.
Cross was diagnosed with lung cancer less than a month before after being hospitalized in early October with what was thought at the time to be pneumonia, his son Ryan Cross said.
He died about 10:20 am at home with his family.
"It was very peaceful," Ryan Cross said.
Mike Cross served as a state senator from 1981 to 1996 after a term as mayor of Baker. He won the senate seat in a special election after Gaston Gerald was convicted of extortion and sent to federal prison. Cross was mayor of Baker from 1976 to 1981.
Tom Ed McHugh said he ran against Cross in his first race for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish in 1988 and had known Cross since childhood.
"We remained friends" after that race, which McHugh won, and McHugh eventually hired him as a lobbyist for the Louisiana Municipal Association where he is executive director.
"He was a tremendous help to us," McHugh said.
Visitation for Cross will be Wednesday at Baker Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. at Bethany's Baker sanctuary, with his funeral set for 2 p.m.
Ryan Cross said his father was particularly proud of his efforts in the early 1990s to enact a ban on abortion in Louisiana, and he is proud of his father's life of service to the citizens of Louisiana.