The Rev. Richard F. Ross

First Posted: 1/17/2011


The Rev. Richard F. Ross, 91, of Orrville, formerly of Elida, died at 2:40 p.m. Jan. 16, 2011, surrounded by his family, following a period of declining health.

He was born April 11, 1919, in Elida to Walter and Fannie Good Ross, who preceded him in death. On Jan. 22, 1940, in Elida, he married Elizabeth G. Brenneman, who survives. They were married for almost 71 years.

The Rev. Mr. Ross and his wife lived in Elida until 1965, when they moved to Wayne County. He was a 1939 graduate of Elida High School and attended Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va., and received his clinical pastoral education from North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Salem, N.C. He had been a machinist in the retail lumber business in Lima before moving to Wooster. He was called in to the ministry at the age of 46 and was pastor of six Mennonite churches in Wayne and Stark counties, and held offices in the Ohio and Eastern Conference of the Mennonite Church.

During his years as a pastor, he also served as an evangelist, conducting revivals across the United States. He and his wife hosted tours for 23 years to the Middle East, Europe, Scandinavian countries, the U.S. and Canada. He served as chaplain at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem for six months from 1983 to 1984. Following his last pastorate, he served as staff chaplain at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, for nearly eight years, before retiring at the age of 90. He had a great love for Christ, the church, his family and friends. His guiding Scripture was Psalms 100:1-4. He has now gone to be with the Lord.

Survivors also include five sons, Richard L. (Margaret) Ross, of Lima, Stanley W. (Shirley) Ross, of Apple Creek, Wesley J. (Nancy) Ross, of Harrisonburg, Va., Gene M. (Betty) Ross, of Atlanta, and David M. (Juanita) Ross, of Kidron; 14 grandchildren, Crystal Walker, Ronald Ross, Lisa Troyer, Sharon Wedel, Monica Compagnari, Jeremy Ross, Joel Ross, Aleta Tilton, Rachel Gordon, Jessica McRae, Michael Ross, Lizbeth "Betsy" Miller, Derek Ross and Angela Gingerich; and 19 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his beloved youngest son, Keith Wayne Ross, who died when he was 8; six brothers, Orlo, Omer, Henry, Burdette, Adam and Roland Ross; and three sisters, Irene Heatwole and infants, Julia and Breda Ross.

Services will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at Kidron Mennonite Church, Kidron. Pastor Todd Martin and Pastor Eldon King will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Grove Memorial Park Cemetery, Wooster.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Smithville Mennonite Church, Smithville, and one hour prior to services Thursday at the church in Kidron.

Memorial contributions may be made to Central Christian School, P.O. Box 9, Kidron, OH 44636; or Mennonite Missions Network, P.O. Box 370, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Condolences may be expressed at

The family would like to express their gratitude to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County for their loving care.

Arrangements are by Auble Funeral Home, Orrville.

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