NORTH OGDEN -- A business icon in the Ogden rodeo and equestrian world, Ken Cross, 85, died last week.
The funeral has been set for Wednesday for the man credited with much of the success of Ogden Pioneer Days, the Miss Rodeo Utah and Miss Rodeo Ogden pageants and a host of local activities involving horses through the many activities his business supported.
Cross was the third-generation owner of what became the oldest Western store in the nation.
Cross Western Wear opened as C.W. Cross in 1878 and closed in 2005. Ken Cross and his wife, Bev, purchased the store from the family in 1962.
"It's kind of neat, because when he bought the store, it was sporting goods, Western goods and hardware," said Cross' son, Tony Cross. "He and Mom just turned it over to Western. They sold guns for awhile. Everything else was gone."
Tony Cross said his father's vision was key to the store's success, as customers came from many surrounding areas.
And Tony said his father's vision also benefited the community.
Ken Cross served on the board and as president of the Miss Rodeo America organization and is credited with working out a guarantee that the Miss Rodeo Utah pageant would have a permanent home in Ogden.
He was on the Ogden Pioneer Days committee for 25 years and contributed to numerous other Western efforts.
Susan Cross said her father-in-law could get people's attention.
"He was a man of very few words, but when he spoke, you listened," she said. "He was a good businessman, and he was honest and fair."
His two sons said he was equally involved in their lives as he was with his business.
"Ever since we were just little kids, we'd sweep floors, straighten Levis," Craig Cross said. "They paid us a penny a minute when we first started there. We were pretty little. It was a good job."
And Cross always worked with his wife by his side.
"There was never a Ken without a Bev or a Bev without a Ken," Susan Cross said. "They came as a team package."
The two just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Elim Lutheran Church, 575 23rd St. Family will meet with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.