Robert Presby Ross
August 12, 1931 – October 5, 2023
Robert Presby Ross, 92, died peacefully in Solomons, Maryland, on October 5, 2023. Robert was born in Berlin, New Hampshire, to Karl and Louise (Pillsbury) Ross. He grew up in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and graduated from Killingly (CT) High School in 1948.
Robert (Bob) attended Wesleyan University for a year and a half, then he left school and hitchhiked around the country. He ended up working at Century Electric Co. in St. Louis, Missouri. He was drafted in 1952 and served in the Army in Korea. He returned to St. Louis and attended Washington University on the GI bill while working the swing shift at Century Electric. Robert received his BA (1957) and MA (1958) in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed further graduate studies at Vanderbilt University and the University of Connecticut.
Robert married Emma Danielson of Danielson, Connecticut, in 1955 and they began their married life in St. Louis. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary last June.
Robert taught Economics at Middle Tennessee State College, Central Connecticut State College, and East Tennessee State University, before moving to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1967 where he was offered a position teaching Economics at Bloomsburg State College. He taught there until his retirement in 2002 from Bloomsburg University. In retirement Robert and Emma remained in Bloomsburg until 2022 when they moved to Asbury Solomons, in Solomons, Maryland, to be close to daughter Cindy.
Robert loved to read (especially science fiction and military history) and had a huge library. He enjoyed playing war strategy games and chess. He advised the college’s chess team for years. It didn’t matter if he won or lost, he loved the strategic puzzle. Robert swam laps every day he could get in a pool for almost 60 years. He assisted the Bloomsburg University football team by filming games, and after his retirement he filmed practices as well as games. Upon moving to Bloomsburg Robert joined the Parlor City Flying Club where he earned a private pilot single engine license. He flew for 30 years until his heart attack in 1999. He got his instrument rating in 1973. He enjoyed vegetable gardening for many years and eating the results.
Robert was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Bloomsburg, for 56 years. He was ordained an elder in 1972 and served five terms on session. He was a long-time member of the Bloomsburg Kiwanis Club. He served 2 terms as president and a term as Lieutenant Governor of Division 14. He was also a member of Washington Lodge No. 265 (Bloomsburg, PA) F&AM.
Robert was predeceased by his brother Ned and sister Ann Rich. He is survived by his wife Emma; his brothers Dan Ross (Carol), Geoffrey Ross (Marjolein), Quentin Ross (Sylvia); three daughters Betsy Sandford (Scott), Lisa Ross Thedens (John), and Cindy Romano (Jack); and 6 grandchildren Nathan Sandford (Grace) and Paul Sandford, Peter and Ross Thedens, and Robert and Rachel Romano.
The family thanks the John and Nichole Harmon family for all that they did for our parents while they were living in Bloomsburg, and Dale Sultzbaugh for taking over the garden and supplying vegetables and company to Robert.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Bloomsburg, 345 Market St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815, or a charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held in Maryland at a later date and will be livestreamed. Information will be posted at robertpross.weebly.com when available.