Howard I. Ross died on Aug. 12, 2009, of cardiac arrest. He was 97. He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith, who died in 2005.
Born in 1911, in Ipswich, Mass., to Herbert and Bessie Ross, he was the oldest of six children.
In his teen years he worked at Myopia Hunt Club in Wenham, Mass., training and caring for horses. He then worked as a veterinarian's assistant to Dr. Horace Lambert in Beverly, Mass., and did carpentry work at wealthy estates around Beverly's North Shore. Not one to retire, he handcrafted fireplace bellows, which turned into a full-time business for him and his wife, Edith.
In 1974, he and Edith moved to California to be closer to family. He took a part-time job as a crossing guard at West Davis Elementary School (now Cesar Chavez). For 16 years, he enjoyed the children and parents there. During this time, he built numerous cubbies, bookshelves, storage and file boxes, coat racks and various other projects requested by the staff. He also built equipment for other Davis schools and some in Sacramento.
He is survived by his son, Howard K. Ross and his wife, Margaret, of Chirton, Wiltshire, England, and his daughter, Judith Schmatjen and her husband, David, of Davis. He regularly received letters and visits from his six grandchildren and even got to enjoy his five great-grandchildren in recent months.
He is further survived by three sisters in Massachusetts: Elizabeth Atherley and Helen Hulbert of Ipswich, and Jennie Cronin of Hamilton. Two other sisters, Bessie Wood and Bertha Smith, have passed away.
A family graveside service will take place in October.
Memorials may be sent to the Children's Home Society of California, 34883 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616.