Jack Gary Ross, 77, passed away on Saturday, April 28 at the Glenn Kiser Hospice House. He was the loving husband of Rosemary (Light) Ross for 41 years. The two married on April 9, 1977.
Jack was born on April 19, 1941, in West Virginia, the youngest of eleven children of William Ross and Cora McGhee, both deceased. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958 to 1962, then earned a B.A. in Philosophy from West Virginia University in 1968 and relocated to California.
In 1976, Jack returned home and became a social worker in Fayette County, WV, but later transferred to Iredell County, NC in 1990. He loved working with adults and assisting the elderly, which he did for nearly thirty years before retiring in 2005.
Jack was a modern-day Renaissance man. He enjoyed reading great works of history, philosophy, science, and Christian apologetics. He always wanted to better himself through education, a passion he passed on to his children. He enjoyed playing chess, listening to classical music (particularly the sacred compositions of Josquin des Prez), and performing Bach or Beethoven on the piano. He possessed mechanical abilities and would repair his own vehicles, rewire the electricity or redo the plumbing in his own home, and tinker with his personal computers. And he was athletic throughout much of his life, playing volleyball, basketball, and especially tennis.
He was wise, empathetic, compassionate, caring, loving, loyal, strong, vital, and affable. Above all else, Jack was a Christian who loved the LORD and walked faithfully with Him for many decades. He always credited his sweet Rosemary with leading him to Christ more than forty years ago. His life reflected the radical change God can bring through salvation. He served faithfully in several churches over the course of his life, most recently Branchview First Church of God.
Always a family man, Jack spent most of his time making memories with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He would often spend the weekends outdoors with his family hiking (his personal favorites were Babcock and Stone Mountain state parks), exploring NC’s hidden treasures, or babysitting his precious grandchildren. Granddad had a knack for bringing smiles and laughter to everyone around him.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents and nine siblings. In addition to his wife, Jack is survived by one sister, Romaine Irwin of Dorchester, SC; three Christian sons and their wives (Stephen and Stephanie of Raleigh; John and Bekah of Edmond, Oklahoma; and Joseph and Lauren of Thomasville); seven grandchildren (Elizabeth, Lauren, Avery, Jenna, Ian, Melanie, and Zane); and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He had a profound impact on so many people he loved (and who loved him), and they will carry on his legacy.
A visitation (11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and celebration of life service (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.) will be held on Monday, May 7 at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Salisbury (2200 Mooresville Rd), with Rev. Martha Richardson officiating. Burial will follow promptly at 2 p.m. in the Salisbury National Cemetery (501 Statesville Blvd).