Jack Ross

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. - H.J. Ross, a longtime resident of Coral Gables, Florida, age 93, known to his friends as Jack, peacefully passed away at his home on Friday, October 30th, 2015 following an eight year battle with vascular dementia. Jack was born to Benjamina Gaynell Cook Ross and John Daniel Ross on June 2, 1922 in Tampa, Florida. He attended school in Tampa, graduating from Tampa College High (Jesuit High School) as a top scholar and Eagle Scout, and later, at age 19, from Georgia Institute of Technology, with a degree in civil engineering. Following his graduation from Georgia Tech, Jack studied aeronautical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology until the outbreak of World War II. He immediately entered military service in the Seabees, an engineering division of the US Navy. Jack was stationed in the Aleutian Islands, and, at the end of the war, at Opa Locka Air Station, Miami, Florida. In 1947, Jack founded the engineering firm Riley and Ross with a fellow Navy engineer. When his partner joined the Vietnam War effort, Jack agreed to stay and run the company, later acquiring a total interest and renaming the company H. J. Ross and Associates, Inc. Jack retired in 1978 and sold the company to Monenco Engineering Corporation. The company has subsequently been sold a number of times but still operates today in Miami as TYLin/H.J. Ross. Jack many times said, "I have been privileged to participate in the changing landscape of Miami; I have been able to watch it grow up." Over three decades, Jack always spoke with pride of the many roads and bridges in pre-Castro Cuba that his company engineered, from the offices in the Radio Central location in downtown Havana. His firm also maintained offices in Caracas, Venezuela and throughout Florida, namely in St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral, and Miami. Having designed the test facility for the Pratt/Whitney engines powering the Apollo space mission, H. J. Ross and Associates, Inc. also had a base in Huntsville, Alabama. Among the hundreds of major projects Jack's firm engineered, many are of particular note: signature hotels on Miami Beach including The Eden Roc, The Fontainebleau, The Deauville, and The Shelbourn, all Burdines department stores, the Eastern Airlines buildings at MIA, major parts of the Palmetto Expressway, dozens of facilities for Dade County Public Schools and various Marriott Hotels throughout the country. Jack had many passions: art, thoroughbred horses, history, hunting, boating, fishing and traveling, all of which he actively engaged, living life to the fullest. He owned and developed Pebble Hill Farm in Ocala, Florida, focusing on his love of thoroughbred horses; he traveled the world fishing and was a gold badge holder from the former Rod and Reel Club on Miami Beach; he pursued his love of art as he became a Life Member and Treasurer of The Vizcayans, the support group of Miami's fine arts museum; and he loved to hunt white wing dove in South America, making an annual trek with a group of fellow Rod and Reel members and close friends. Jack was a longtime member of Epiphany Catholic Church, a former Board Member of Lighthouse for the Blind, a Fairchild Tropical Garden Fellow, and a Committee of 100 member of the Miami Historical Museum. He was also a member of a various clubs, including Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Riviera Country Club and Coral Reef Yacht Club. He is predeceased by two of his daughters, Barbara Gaynelle Ross and Suzanne Mary Ross, as well as his parents and his sister, Sara Longmire. He is survived by his wife of thirty six years, Audrey Hand Jackson Ross, as well as his two daughters from his first marriage to Donna Guilfoyle Ross, Julie Ross Dunn Myers and Sally Ross Muccio (husband, Craig, and daughter, Donna), all of Miami. His is also survived by his wife's daughter, Melissa Jackson Loree, DVM (husband, Lee, and son, Oliver), of Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a number of nieces and nephews. A service celebrating his life well lived will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 at 10:30 am at Epiphany Catholic Church, 8235 SW 57th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33143. For anyone wishing to honor Jack with a memorial, please direct the donations, in lieu of flowers, to Epiphany Catholic Church or The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. The family would also like to thank his devoted caregivers: Dr. Evelio Mantiera, Mrs. Bertha Rojas and Mr. Alfredo Apercana for their exemplary care and compassion these past few years, as well as Vitas Hospice for their kindness and support. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com/obits The Augusta Chronicle-November 1, 2015