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Robert Ross Jr.

Memorial services for Robert “Bob” Leeroy Ross Jr. of Grass Valley will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church in Grass Valley. A reception will follow at the Wesley Fellowship Hall. For more information, call 272-1946.

Dr. Ross died Friday, April 1. He was 88.

He was born Aug. 16, 1916, in Dysart, Iowa, to Robert Leroy and Mabel Laura Flaugh Ross. He graduated from high school in Dysart, Iowa, in 1934. During high school, he served as freshman and sophomore class president and enjoyed playing baseball and tennis. He attended the State University of Iowa, transferring to Colorado State College where he graduated in 1940 receiving a bachelor’s degree in forestry. He also earned a 2nd Lieutenant rank in the Officers Reserve Corps and became a student pilot. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force and received his Silver Wings on Jan. 9, 1942. After his graduation, he was commissioned as a single engine fighter aircraft instructor and airdrome officer at Luke Field, and was commissioned Captain in July 1944. He was transferred to Santa Ana Army Air Base in California and then eventually to Camp Beale where he received the rank of Major serving as personnel officer.



After the war he earned his doctor of optometry from UC Berkeley. He had an optometric practice for 45 years in Grass Valley until retiring in 1994. He married Esther on Jan. 30, 1942, in Phoenix, Ariz. They lived in Colorado, Arizona, and California before moving to Grass Valley in 1949. He served as foreman on the Nevada County Grand Jury. He also served on several local school boards including Lyman Gilmore Middle School and Sierra Community College in Rocklin from 1964 to 1994. He was instrumental in bringing Sierra Community College Campus to Grass Valley. He also served as a lector and deacon at the United Methodist Church in Grass Valley. He enjoyed his family, community and church service, and the outdoors.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Esther Ross; daughters and sons-in-law Irene and Dave Nelson, Kerry and Steve Geist, and Lynne and Scott Halverson; sons and daughters-in-law Robert II and Suzanne, Richard and Kate, and Craig and Kim; grandchildren Dana, Erin, Ryan, Ashley, Richie, Robbie, Betsy, Lyndi, Daniel, Becky, Josh, Kelsey, Kevin and Rachael. He was preceded in death by his sisters Maurine, and Caroline; and brother Keith.




Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St., Grass Valley 95945, or the Sierra College Foundation, Nevada County Campus, 250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley 95945.

Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary.


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