John Paul Ross

February 22, 2013 

Dr. John Paul Ross, age 85, passed away on February 20, 2013, at the Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh NC. He was born on April 29, 1927, in New Rochelle, New York, beloved son of Edward W. Ross and Jeanette Dwyer Ross and grew up in Pleasantville, NY. From his early childhood days John exhibited a love of nature and curiosity of the natural environment that influenced his professional career and lifetime interests. John was also known for his steady work ethic, creative problem solving skills and pursuit of perfection throughout his professional career and extra-curricular endeavors.

Upon graduation from high school in 1944, John enlisted in the US Army and proudly served his country during WWII with an assignment in Germany. Upon returning to the US, John enrolled at the University of Vermont where he completed his undergraduate degree in 1952. Throughout his undergraduate years, John worked various jobs including working for the US postal Service and as a bee inspector for the State of New York. John continued his education by earning a doctorate degree in Plant Pathology from Cornell University in 1956. He later relocated his family to Raleigh, NC where he was employed by the US Department of Agriculture and North Carolina State University. John spent his entire professional career working as a professor at the NCSU Department of Plant Pathology, mentoring doctoral students, conducting scientific research on plant diseases and developing disease resist varieties of soybeans. He retired after 30 years of employment in 1985.

John married his first wife, Ruth Chase Ross of Goffstown, NH in 1951. They had four children; three sons and a daughter. In 1984 John married his second wife, Harriet Taylor Ross from Goldsboro, NC.

John was an outdoorsman who lived an active life and had many diverse passions. He was a skilled craftsman and maker of fine furniture, jewelry and boats. He was an avid swimmer and sailor, and in retirement he and Harriet enjoyed many cross country camping and fly fishing trips. His other passions included square dancing, collegiate sports, classical music and spending time with his family. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather who will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his loving wife, Harriet Ross; his sons, John P. Ross, Jr. and wife Joyce, Charles W. Ross and wife Traci, David Scott Ross and wife Beth and his daughter, Kathryn Tomaselli and husband, Joel. He will also be deeply missed by his grandchildren, Stephanie Ross Lane (Jay), Dana Ross Brea (Jeff), Dylan Ross (Jessica), Lydia Ross, and Ross and Nicole Tomaselli; his great-grandchildren, Evelia Brea and Cadence and Jameson Lane; his brother, Edward W. Ross and wife Nancy, and his sister, Nancy Frankland. John was predeceased by his parents and by his first wife, Ruth Chase Ross.

The family will receive friends and family on Friday February 22, from 6:00-8:00pm, at Brown Wynne Funeral, 300 St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh NC. The graveside service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, February 23, at Briercreek Memorial Park, ACC Blvd. Raleigh, followed by the memorial service at 1:00 pm, at Springmoor Auditorium, 1500 Sawmill Road, Raleigh NC.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, in memory of John. Condolences and fond memories can be shared at

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