Donald Gene Ross born in Muncie, Indiana on 24 June 1940, to Arthur M. Ross and Mary Eleanor Moler. Ross died 15 June 2023 of lung cancer. He is survived by his second wife, Janet Bartz Parsi Ross, children Cynthia Marie (David Mucciarone), Donald Gene II (Bonnie Barfitt), Doan Gary, and Devon Guy (Gina Grauer), nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a brother Thomas Charles (Tina Tuttle). He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Rosalie Marie Haven Ross.
Don graduated from Bowling Green State University with a math education major and a commission in the Air Force through the ROTC program. Flying 6,000 hours over a 20-year career, he flew and instructed in T-37s, T-38s, O-2s, OV-10s, and F-100s. Duty assignments included Vance AFB, OK, Luke AFB, AZ, Vietnam (where he flew 700 hours as a combat Forward Air Controller), RAF Lakenheath, England, Sembach AB, Germany, Vance AFB again, Sembach AB again, and Patrick AFB, FL.
Don’s second career was as a Professor of Education and Dean of Students at Concordia College, a Lutheran Liberal Arts College in Bronxville, NY. While there, he earned Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Education Administration and Supervision at Columbia University. He was also certified as a commissioned teacher in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
A third career could be described as a professional volunteer. Retiring to homes in TN and then FL, he served on education, leadership, and help-line boards. He served in his congregations as an Elder, Chairman of the Board of Education, and school bus driver. He led five-month-long mission trips to China and served on one to Kenya. In addition, Don taught junior-high math one year, managed the Local Federal Census Office in 2000 and 2010, and was a tour bus driver-guide for Princess Cruise Lines in Alaska for three summers.
Remember 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope (faith, trust) that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.”
A memorial service and a reception will be held Wednesday, 21 June, at Zion Lutheran Church, 102 W Jackson St., Pittsburg, KS, 66762. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Zion Lutheran Church and/or Zion’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Another service will be held in October at Faith Lutheran, Eustis, FL.