Michael Ross was born on November 13, 1945 in Los Angeles, CA to Clyde and Zona Cochran Ross. He passed away at home on October 2, 2018 after a valiant four-year fight against dementia. Mike is preceded in death by his parents; sister Patricia Esau; in laws Orlin Keith and Mary Welton Sumerill; sister in law Dorthy Gosset; brother in law Bob Phoenix; nephew Ryan Phoenix; and niece Kim Scherrer. Left to cherish his memory are wife Pat Ross; sons Jon Ross and wife Karen of Frisco, TX, Chris Ross and wife Kathy of San Leandro, CA; grandchildren Cristian, Gabriela, Orlin and one on the way; Aunt Betty Crook; sisters in law Sue Phoenix, Lisa Hamilton; Christine Barnfield and husband James, Jinny Francis and husband Bob; brothers in law Cliff Esau and Tommy Gossett; 16 nieces and nephews; 17 grand nieces and nephews; as well as numerous other close family and loving friends. Mike was raised in Marshall, TX and graduated from Marshall High School. He then earned his associates degree from Kilgore College, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Texas A&M Commerce (ETSU), and continued his education working toward his doctorate at the University of North Texas.
While in graduate school at ETSU, Mike and Pat were resident directors of Smith Women’s Residence Hall. After receiving his Masters Degree and being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Mike worked as an OSI agent in New York City and New Orleans. Mike spent the majority of his career working in higher education. At Trinity Valley Community College, he was a professor of drafting and design. At El Centro Community College, he was a professor and administrator. At the Dallas County Community College District Office, he was an administrator. During his roughly 20-year tenure at Richland Community College, where he was Executive Dean of the Business and Professions Department, Mike was recognized as an outstanding administrator and educator.
While at El Centro College, Mike opened a side business designing and building decks along with his friend, Robert Hamm. Although this was a passion for him, after running the business for many years, his focus was to spend more time with his family. He relished the time he spent cheering his sons on the sidelines as well as later in life, his grandchildren.
Through the years Mike’s personal interests were vast but included tennis, being an avid reader of philosophical and political subjects, fishing, jogging, home projects such as building and redesigning the family home, annual visits to Camp Welton in Arkansas, and travel (driving cross country and cruising). He was generous with his time and talents and was always willing to lend a helping hand to others. He was active in his church and could frequently be found experiencing life with friends throughout local sporting events and traveling with the Naked Iguana group across the United States.
The last almost five years of his life, Mike’s dedication and focus shifted to maintaining a positive quality of life and fighting the debilitating effects of dementia. He was fortunate enough to find support and therapy through the Stepping Stones Program based at TWU, the Programs at Callier Center (UTD), The Friends Place, Kristen Qualls, and other medical and therapeutic professionals as well as the Memory Clinic at UTSW. Mike’s family will forever be indebted to the love, support and care extended through their many, many friends as well as that of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church.
Mike will be most missed because he was a dedicated and loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle and devoted friend. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, on Monday, October 8, 2018 at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, 1615 Airport Freeway, Irving, Texas.
A Committal with Military Honors will be held at 2:00 PM, on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas. Please call us or check back for the appropriate Lane information, we will update this page the day before the committal service.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org/dallasnetexas/donate; to Plymouth Park United Methodist Church by going to http://www.ppumc.org/ and clicking on the online giving; or to the Dallas County Community College District Foundation by going to https://www.foundation.dcccd.edu/ and clicking on donate now.