WPCA Saddened By The Passing Of Former Active Supporter Donald Cross

Donald Cross
April 5, 1932 – October 19, 2018

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was saddened by passing of former Calgary Stampede President and chuckwagon Active Supporter Donald Cross on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the age of 86 years.

Donald Cross was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1932. His family’s history is intertwined with the foundation of the province of Alberta. Donald’s grandfather, A.E. Cross established the A7 Ranch, Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, and was one of the "Big Four" who founded  Calgary Stampede with Guy Weadick. Donald’s father, James (J.B.) Cross, established Bar Pipe Farms in 1953 along the Sheep River and was a former President of the Calgary Stampede. Donald’s business career began with the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, followed by Canadian Breweries in Toronto. He was also active in the hotel business located in both the Northwest Territories and British Columbia. He served as a long-time director and past president of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. Donald is also a past president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Ranchman’s Club.

Donald was an early advocate for safety in the chuckwagon races. In 1961, under Donald's guidance, the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company sponsored a chuckwagon at the Calgary Stampede driven by Orville Strandquist. The "Cross of Calgary" wagon graced the Calgary racetrack for three years. It was here that Donald asked Orville and his outriders to wear protective helmets while competing. So thanks to Donald's urging, history was made at the 1961 Calgary Stampede when Orville Strandquist became the first chuckwagon driver to wear a protective helmet, which he wore until his retirement in the mid 1990's. Donald Cross was also the man responsible for introducing collapsible carboard barrels to chuckwagon racing, replacing the old steel drums that had plagued chuckwagon safety for many years.

Donald will be deeply missed by his wife Shan; his sister Nan; his four children, Pam (Hector), Gretchen (Bob), Jay, and Jill (James); and four grandchildren, Alexandra, Stephanie, Andrew and Emma.

A Celebration of Donald’s Life will be held at The Ranchmen’s Club (710 – 13 Avenue S.W. Calgary, AB) on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute’s Brain Bank. Cheques must be made payable to the University of Calgary – Brain Bank or online at: (

Donald will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Cross family.

Billy Melville