Dorothy "Sallie" (Brown) Cross-Sevon
Sallie's Odyssey: Erleen Harden Martin January, 2012
Dorothy Sarah Brown was born August 21, 1921, in Brookline, Mass. to William and Sarah Brown who had immigrated from Scotland and England. They had 6 beautiful daughters and a son: Eleanor, Madeline, Lillian, Marjorie, Sarah, Ruthie amd George. George died in a tragic drowning at a young age - 8 or 9. Sallie and her sisters had a happy childhood and as young ladies enjoyed going to dances together in Massachsetts, Vermont and Maine. Sarah fell in love with a musician at 16 and left home to marry Francis Newman. They lived in Vermont and had two daughters, Sandra and Dorothy. With the lifestyle of a professional musician, they divorced and Sallie went to live with her sister Madeline.
During the years of World War II Sallie's dad became afraid of Boston's being bombed. He bought a beautiful farm near Augusta, Maine, and brought his family there. From there, Sallie found her way to Rockland, Maine. She found jobs at Goodnow's drug store and Knox hospital. She met her next husband, Ray Cross, at the drug counter. She became a cook at Knox hospital and lived with the nurses at the hospital nursing school. She began to go to the Humpty Dumpty restaurant for her meals and brought them back to the girls she roomed with. Since the restaurant was owned by Ray Cross, their friedship grew and developed into a happy
mar riage. Together they raised her daughters and a nephew, Frank Colburn, her sister Ruthie's boy. The restaurant became a popular place for teenagers and also their parents to gather - enjoying Sallie's pies and lobster rolls- for which her recipes were never revealed! When the restaurant was sold to make room for the Stella Maris assisted living establishment from the Catholic church, Ray became Rockland's city clerk and Sallie also found work there. She worked for the city clerk's office and eventually became a policewoman.
During these years, Sallie was saddened to lose her sisters and nieces to cancer and str okes. She also cared for Ray's mother before she died. The Congregational church, of which they were active members, began to plan to build a new church and move from Main Street to Limerock Street. Sallie was a member of the building committee, and her special interest was to design the kitchen. It was finished in 1956. Sallie and Ray had a summer camp at Crawford Lake and for many years enjoyed staying there to hunt and fish with their many friends. Sallie raised Beagle puppies who enjoyed the hunt. Sallie learned to shoot with the best of them, and she and Ray bagged their deer each year. She opened a consignment shop on Main Street where she sold her crafts and others' work also. She made wonderful men's hats - crocheted from wool yarn - and many of those hats are still worn and treasured.
When Ray retired and spent his time playing golf, she continued to work for the police department as a dispatcher and bail clerk. As a policewoman, she was the first to step up and help anyone who was in trouble.
Sallie lost Ray to a massive stroke in the late '80's. She continued to work and make things for her shop. She had many friends and admirers, so she had an active social life. She met Unto Sevon at her exercise class, and since he loved to dance they took lessons and joined the Down East Jazz Society. Her next adventure was a trip to Florida where they each bought homes and, after selling their homes in Rockland, moved to Florida - Zephyrhills, that isl She was not done with her adventures; now they bought beautiful acreage in Brooksville and established an ostrich farm. Building pens and fences, raising emus, rheas and ostriches, Sallie drove the mowers and tractors, fed the birds and managed the business affairs and still found time for dancing at the Elks Club. She made beautiful dioramas from the ostrich eggs and opened a gift shop in qade City - a mecca for antiques, gift shops and restaurants. She discovered kumquats from which she made cakes and marmala des. The ostrich business soon became a losing venture, so they sold out to people who raised horses. They were sad to leave the farm.
They moved to the Heather from Brooksville, and each bought a home there. They still danced and played cards with friends. Sallie joined the Red Hatters and hosted a hight tea for all the ladies. It was a great success. Together, Sallie and Unto hosted a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner for their friends for 3 years. They had a very interesting trip to Finland, Unto's country of birth, visiting his family, and into Russia. Since Unto began to have trouble with his health, they thought of assisted living and began to plan for that. A place in Maryland was considered. To make that possible, Unto and Sallie decided to get married. Sallie planned a sweet wedding at her house with a dinner for friends at a French cafe. She made her dress from an old dancing gown. But the plan was nipped in the bud by Unto's failing health. Instead of Maryland, Unto went to a nursing home for care and passed away there.
Sadly, Sallie lost Frankie at the early age of 58; he was her pride and joy. Of her original family, there are only Sallie and Marjorie. Sallie's daughter developed Alzheimer's disease, and she was able to buy them a home behind hers so they could look after each other. This is a hard time for Sallie, and she is hoping to end her life in Rockland, Maine. We all wish this for her, so I wrote this down to remind her of the wonderfully rich and interesting life she has had.
The wife of the late Raymond Cross and the late Unto Sevon, Sallie was also predeceased by her children, Sarah Abel and George Colburn, parents William and Sarah (Allen) Brown, her siblings Eleanor, Madeline, Lillian, Ruthie and George. She is survived by her daughter Dorothy Zolkowski and husband George of Brooksville, FL, a sister Marjorie O’Keefe of Newburyport, MA formerly of Arlington, MA; daughter-in-law Kathleen Colburn of Harvard, MA; 7 grandchildren, nieces, nephews and their families; and her best friend, Erleen Harden Martin of Rockland.
Visiting hours are Friday Oct. 6th, 2017 from 3-5pm at the Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Ave (Rte 111) Acton. Interment in Achorn Cemetery, Rockland, is at a later date. Memorial donations to the charity of one’s choice. Memorial page www.actonfuneralhome.com