Area residents, community members, business owners, local builders and government officials were all saddened upon hearing the news last month of the untimely passing of local developer and founder of FishHawk Ranch, Glen Edward Cross.
Glen, 72, died in a car crash, while on vacation in North Carolina. The High Country Press in North Carolina reported that a man hauling two cars on a trailer lost control of his vehicle on the Beech Mountain Pkwy. The two vehicles flew off the trailer and one struck Glen’s car.
Cross is known as the man who had a talent at identifying properties with the potential to become great communities and he left behind an amazing legacy. He had a hand in developing the Tampa Bay area including the areas of Town and Country, Carrollwood and eastern Hillsborough County, including FishHawk Ranch of Newland Communities.
“We were just shocked and saddened to hear of Glen’s sudden passing,” said Newland Communities Vice President and General Manager Thomas Panaseny. “Glen was a devoted family man, and our thoughts immediately went to his wife Sandy and his children and grandchildren.”
Cross was born in New Castle, Indiana, to a farming family. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Glen was honored to have served his country. He moved to Florida in 1968 partnering with Mandell “Hinks” Shimberg and Jim Shimberg. He and his wife, Sandy, lived in FishHawk Ranch in Lithia, where they were an original buyer with Mandell, of the land that would take the lead in development in eastern Hillsborough County.
Thanks to his well-known and undoubted business ethics, Glen had no problems making friends forming successful partnerships and getting the job done, all of which is clearly seen in the various projects he had a part in completing.
“Glen was a visionary,” Panaseny added. “FishHawk Ranch would not be what it is today without his vision early on. He was a great partner to Newland, but also a great man.”
Newland Communities Sr. VP Rick Harcrow emphasized Glen’s interaction and presence in the community when he said, “Glen was a mentor to many, inside and beyond the development world. He was generous with his time and his knowledge, whether it was about building communities or talking cars. He was just an all-around good human being.
As president of the Shimberg Cross Co. Glen had a chance to enjoy the fruit of his labor seeing FishHawk Ranch grow into one of the best communities in the bay area with 4,200 homes and more than 25 miles of walking trails. The community has been called by some a “small town, with all the amenities one could want.”
Such comments appropriately prompted his wife of 25 years, Sandy, 62, to say “He had a gift of looking at land and knowing what he wanted to do with it. He loved to walk over it, fly over it.”
“Glen leaves behind an amazing legacy in FishHawk Ranch and the Tampa Bay area,” Harcrow said. “We are better for knowing him and having had the privilege of working with him.”
He enjoyed his cars, racing, Broadway shows, golf and spending time with family and friends. He was loved by so many, all of whom have confirmed his genuine character, kind demeanor and care for others a few of the traits that defined his life.
Along with Sandy, Glen is survived by son, Todd Cross, and daughters, Kelly Osimo and Kathy (Scott) Nixon. Glen was blessed with five grandchildren: Jessie, Sarah, Jacob, Sam and Isaac; and daughter-in-law, Lisa Cross. He is also survived by his dog, Macy.