Honorary Alumni and Honorary Life Members




Wayne Howard Kross, 89, went home to be with his Savior on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Services: A private, graveside service will be held at General Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery at 11:00 AM on Monday, August 24, 2020.
Wayne was born in Chicago, IL. He was an avid baseball player in his youth and was signed by the St. Louis Browns farm team, currently the Baltimore Orioles when he was eighteen. He enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and served as a radio operator on a B-36 bomber, flying dozens of dangerous missions while fighting bravely for his country. A military honor guard detail will present a flag at his funeral. While stationed at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, Wayne also pitched for the Air Force baseball team and traveled the country representing the Air Force. He was particularly proud of having played against Pete Domenici, who played for UNM at the time. He married the love of his life, Vicky, in 1953, who joined him in Roswell for the first year of their married life, his last year of active service. After returning to Chicago, Wayne worked as a foreman for Youngstown Steel Mills for the next 20 years while he and Vicky raised their family; they then returned to Roswell, their honeymoon town, in 1981. He began a third career as a bricklayer at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1982 and retired from there as well. Wayne was a lifelong Christian, a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. After he retired the last time, he kept busy helping with family home projects, building everything from shelves to doll beds for his grandchildren. Survivors: Wayne is survived by his sister, Carol Gish and husband Bert; brother Warren Kross and wife Phyllis; sister, Anne Stonehouse and husband Fred; as well as his children: Carol Mestas and husband Louis, Annemarie Oldfield, Lynn Lang and husband Glenn, Dianne Marley and husband Mike, and John Kross and wife Carol; along with eighteen grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews, who loved and will miss him. Preceded: He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Kross and his brother, David Kross, and his loving wife, Vicky. Honorary Pall-Bearers: Chosen to serve as Honorary Pall-Bearers are his grandchildren: Matthew Kuzniar, Catherine Kuzniar, Carolynn Armstrong, Joseph Oldfield, Cody Ogrentz, Alex Ogrentz, Elizabeth Marley-Hollingsworth, Margaret Walter, Michelle Marley, Rob Kross, Andrew Kross, and Julie Kross
The family would like to thank the devoted caregivers at Avamere, and Chris Hicks, who were so loving and compassionate to our father and to us during his final years. We would also like to thank our friends and co-workers, who demonstrated their love and support with meals and prayers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to EFCA ReachGlobal, 901 E. 78th Street, Minneapolis, NM 55420, c/o Mike and Loralee Hill. Wayne’s tribute was lovingly written in his honor by his children.
















John L. “Jack” Rust, Honorary Life Member passed away on 8 July 2012.  Graduating in 1943 from Bloomington High School, he enlisted in the Army and later received his West Point appointment.   At West Point, Rust became a Cadet Captain and company commander.   He played football, lacrosse and was named the All-American lacrosse team in 1947, 1948 and 1949.  Rust was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.  After graduating 1949, he served in the 6th Armored Cavalry in Europe.  He resigned his commission to go into business while continuing to serve in the United States Army Reserve and retired as a colonel in 1985.  Rust’s love affair with New Mexico began in 1960 with an offer from Caterpillar Tractor to take over the dealership from R. L. Harrison.  For over 42 years, he successfully led Rust Tractor Company.  The generous spirit of “Happy Jack,” as he is affectionately known to his family has been exemplified by his many charitable contributions.   In 1965, he led the first one million dollar campaign for the United Way.  Rust and his wife Donna have been leading philanthropists in this community, making a variety of carefully considered gifts to such key New Mexico institutions as Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque Community Foundation, UNM, CNM and NDI-NM.  A central theme of many of these gifts has been to enhance the education, health and ethical climate of our state.  He was a world-class fly fisherman, a strong soldier, an old school business man and a collector of abandoned golf balls. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Donna; children, Julia, Jane, Amy, Kevin and John; ten grandchildren; also, brother-in-law Ron and wife, Nancy.






LTC Thomas “Tom” Y. Woods, USA (Ret) HONORARY LIFE MEMBER passed away on 8 July 2013.  Woods was inducted into the Army at age 18 years and served until retirement in 1973.  While serving in the Army in Bamberg, Germany near Nurnberg, he met and married Marion Kelsch on 3 November 1950. They had three children, Linda, Nancy and MAJ Tyrone Y. Woods, TXARNG (Ret) 1976 JC; and two grandsons, David and Jesse.  Woods Served in three Wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam during his military career.  Having traveled all over the world including a two year assignment in Taipei, Taiwan and one year assignment in Vietnam at the height of the war, he spent most of the U.S. assignments in New Mexico.  Upon retirement from the Army he was employed by New Mexico Military Institute as a training and control officer.  After two years at this position he was promoted to the position of Adjutant (Assistant to the Commandant) and remained in that position until retirement in 1982 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Since then he spent the rest of his life with beloved wife Marion dividing their time at their home in Clovis, NM and their lake house at Conchas Dam, NM.  He is survived by his son MAJ Tyrone Y. Woods, TXARNG (Ret) 1976 JC.