John Clarence Ross answered God’s call November 11, 2016 and went to heaven to rejoin his wife of nearly 70 years. John was loved as a dad, a granddad, and as a friend. He lovingly served his family as a Christian, a leader, mentor, and hero. He accepted Jesus as his savior early in life and never wavered in his faith, his prayers, or his scripture readings.
Guy and Edna Ross gave birth to John on October 11, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. At age seven, he was orphaned and—with his brother, Guy, and sister, Nellie, was raised by members of the family. Later circumstances separated the three siblings. John’s cousins, Edgar and Lora Simonson, cared for him as he worked on the family farm. As a young boy, John rode five miles to school on his pony and herded cattle.
During 1944, he entered the U.S. Army and eventually served in two wars. During World War Two, John was a member of a forward artillery observer team that supported the battle for Luzon and assisted with the liberation of a prisoner-of-war camp. He was later stationed in Manila, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, and Tokyo. He witnessed—first hand—the surrender of the Japanese Emperor in Tokyo Bay.
When the Korean War started, Staff Sergeant Ross served with the Army Engineers. During his time in Korea, his unit received the Army Meritorious Unit Award and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for their work in rebuilding the Kilra-shon Railroad Bridge. John was called a soldier’s soldier.
John loved only one lady. After returning home from World War Two, he married Lorraine Bell on September 22, 1946. He loved her with all his heart. In all the years of their marriage, John and Lorraine always held hands, shared a passionate love for each other, cared for one other, and laughed together.
On June 28, 1947, they welcomed their daughter Linda Jean into their family. During December 1955, John and Lorraine gave birth to their son, John Allan. After returning from the Korean War, John helped build the Cedar Bluff Dam. From the late 1950’s through the mid-1970’s John worked for Midwest Marketing and the Turman Chemical Company. Farmers still remember John for his work on their balers, swathers, and combines. He was also a member of the WaKeeney Volunteer Fire Department and served as a volunteer driver for the WaKeeney Public Transportation bus. John could operate any type of heavy equipment while working for the Kansas Department of Transportation from 1973 to 1993. He helped maintain our highways until retiring at age 70.
John loved life. Mr. Ross was a lifetime member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as the commander of Moore American Legion Post #102 at WaKeeney for nine years. During 2016, he received his American Legion 25 year Distinguished Service certificate and a Quilt of Valor.
John enjoyed having coffee with his friends, shopping with Lorraine, working with his son on different home construction projects, and traveling with his wife and John’s family. He always knew the right way to build almost anything. John held a special love for his granddaughters, Serena, Emily, and Janae and could not wait to hug and talk with them. He looked forward to visiting with Linda and her husband, Chuck, while living at Good Samaritan in Ellis, Kansas.
John leaves a family legacy of Godly example, love, kindness, consideration, and compassion. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his brother, Guy. He is survived by his sister, Nellie Gerdes, of Oberlin, Kansas, his daughter, Linda J. Menges (Chuck) of Woodland Park, Colorado, his son, John A. Ross (Sharon) of Ellis, grandchildren Chris Menges, Jenifer Menges, Tyler James Menges, Brian Menges, Serena Ross, Emily Ross, and Janae Ross, and great-grandson Wyatt Gardner.Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the North Oak Community Church, 3000 Oak Street, Hays. Burial with military honors by the Hays VFW Honor Guard will be at 2:00 pm in the WaKeeney City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:00 am until service time at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Moore American Legion Post #102, in care of the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org