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Jane S Ross

August 29, 1925 - August 31, 2018

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Jane S. Ross’s long life ended early in the morning on September 1, 2018. She will be remembered as a warm, patient and loving person – a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend who had a playful sense of humor, loved to laugh and was always game for adventure.

Jane was born August 29, 1925 in Los Angeles, California to teacher Anna Elizabeth [McClelland] and George Daniel Korber, a set manager at MGM Studios. She treasured the memories of her early childhood – family outings, time with extended family, and visits to their home by friends who harmonized as her mother played popular songs on her baby grand piano. By the time Jane was five her doting and accomplished mother was confined to a wheelchair, a victim of deformative arthritis – a condition that claimed her life in 1934.

Good teachers and neighbors, occasional live-in housekeepers and a Boston terrier called “Sally Molly Gal” helped fill the void left in Jane’s family life by the death of her mother. With her dad’s early morning work schedule and correspondingly early bedtime, Jane and her sister were often left to their own devices. Fortunately, their neighbors – who functioned as an extended family – kept an eye on them and helped out in many ways from sharing snacks to washing their hair, kindnesses she never forgot. And while sneaking out of the window to play hide-and-seek with the neighbor kids after “lights out” was part of her childhood, so were the many good times she shared with her dad fishing off the piers in the evening and camping on the beaches on weekends and holidays.

While her grades were not, as she said, up to snuff when she was a kid, by the time Jane was in high school she was a straight-A student, a member of the Drum Bugle, and a good driver who could navigate a stick-shift and her neighborhood’s roads. She always dreamed of having a family of her own and was dating a variety of boys when she met Edgar LeRoy Ross at a party and recognized how different he was from the others. “He had ambition and goals and wanted a formal education” she said, “and we wanted to work together to create a life we could share.” In addition, she noted “the chemistry was just great!”

She graduated from Washington High School in 1943. And after a romantic courtship that included poems, flowers and many dances, Jane and Edgar were married at his parent’s home on December 24, 1943 launching a love affair and adventure that lasted nearly 75 years.

Edgar and Jane Ross, 75 years of marriage

1943-2018

By 1944 Edgar and Jane were living at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles with their newborn son Roger and growing lifelong friendships along with a fondness for the Airstream-like trailer the Army provided for their quarters. After the War they returned to LA and Edgar went back to college and Jane began working at California Bank, setting aside funds they later used to buy their first house. Edgar graduated from Pepperdine in 1948 with a B.S. in biology including post-graduate work in diagnostic science that prepared him for his career in medical technology, a rapidly expanding field that reflected the increasing demand for medical services following WWII.

Edgar and Jane enjoyed exploring and camping, especially the beaches from San Onofre to the Big Sur Coast. They would pack up the gear and kids – that by 1952 included daughters Janet and Nancy – and leave the city behind often sharing campsites with friends and family. Their sense of adventure coupled with an opportunity Edgar was offered to build a new laboratory in a regional hospital prompted he and Jane to leave their extended family and friends and move to the small city of Pueblo, Colorado a few days before Christmas in 1958. When the temperature dropped to 29 below and ice covered the inside of the windows of their new house, they wondered what they had gotten themselves into!

Dubbed by their family the “Colorado Kids,” Edgar and Jane reveled in the clean air and easy access to the mountains and prairie that was practically out their backdoor. Always ready to get out, Jane packed up food and clothing for the family and co-piloted – sometime with white knuckles – as Edgar towed the family trailer up many a curvy mountain road in the early 1960s in their quest to get to know the state. Edgar took on new challenges when he moved from managing the St. Mary Corwin Hospital laboratory to administration and took on leadership roles in the community including Rotary, Toastmasters, and Explorer Scouts.  Jane was active in the community too serving as a Girl Scout leader before returning to work as a secretary in the commercial loan department at Arkansas Valley Bank.

The rhythm of their life changed again in 1964 with the birth of their third daughter, Julianna, and a move to Denver in 1967 where Edgar began working as a public health advisor to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). Always passionate about the need to provide access to quality medical care, Edgar was recruited to help develop health maintenance organizations in the Pacific NW prompting the family to move to Bellevue in 1970.

Thrilled to be back by the ocean, Edgar and Jane soon traded their trailer for a sailboat and spent many happy summer vacations and weekends in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound region. When Jane decided to go back to work in the 1980’s she landed a job with a start-up technology company, Control Data, that helped supplement their income while also providing her with the chance to learn about computer systems and help grow a successful company. She left this job after Edgar retired from the federal government in 1986. Afterwards they bought the Airstream trailer of their dreams and traveled throughout the West with friends for more than a decade.

Jane S. Ross passed on September 1, 2018 only two days after her 93rd birthday. Following her death, Edgar lived at Ida Culver House at Ravenna and later Kline Galland Home where he shared his positive attitude and talents for poetry, harmonica and singing with family, fellow residents and staff. He passed on Friday, February 4 with a photo of Jane by his side.

Edgar and Jane are survived by son Roger (Bette); daughters Jan Emerson, Nancy (Chuck Warner), and Julianna Ross (Jordan Royer); six grandchildren: Chris and Kimberly Ross, Brad and Brian Scott, and Georgia and Colette Royer; eleven great grandchildren: Parke, Duke, and Redmond Ross; Garret, Sarah and Zoey Ross; Teagan Scott; Jordan and Frances Scott; sister-in-law Beverly Henry, niece Laura Henry, and four grand-dogs: Lulu, Nellie, Casey and Lani.