A lover of life to the very end, Gretchen Gladstone Ross passed away surrounded by family at home in Windsor, CA on March 5, 2013, at the age of 76. Born and raised in Nebraska, Gretchen moved to California to attend Mills College and married the love of her life, Franklyn W. Ross, Sr. Gretchen began her more than four-decade career in education as an elementary school teacher, developed a nationally recognized reading program, became a school principal, and helped found the California Kindergarten Association. She was always active in her community through the Episcopal Church, Rotary, Park Boosters, and many other outlets. In 2009 Gretchen and Frank moved from San Mateo County to Sonoma County to begin the next chapter of their lives. Though Gretchen's time in Windsor was far shorter than she and her family hoped for, she greatly enjoyed belonging to Church of the Incarnation, Windsor Rotary, her book groups, and being a part of her special writing friends at the Healdsburg Senior Center. An avid writer, Gretchen penned many stories and essays enjoyed by others, and was in the process of completing her first novel. Gretchen is preceded in death by her dear parents Ronald and Louise Gladstone, and beloved brother Victor Gladstone. She is survived by her loving husband and best friend Frank, her children Laurie Ross, Franklyn William Ross, Jr., Louise Tobin, and daughter-in-law Brigette Ross. She also leaves behind her much loved grandchildren Jacob Tobin, Joshua Tobin, Emmeleia Ross and Isabella Ross; and a loving extended family including her brother-in law and sister-in-law, cousins, and nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express much thanks for the added years we were able to enjoy with Gretchen due to exceptional care from Kaiser Santa Rosa, especially from Dr. Schieberl and Dr. Vasadia, the Transcatheter Valve Replacement team at Stanford Hospital, and the healing work of Hrieth Pezzi. In addition, Gretchen received a wealth of special support from a large and caring circle of friends. We will miss her greatly and will remember her generous and forgiving heart, her huge love of family, friends, animals and always being ready to enjoy the best that this world had to offer. Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on March 16 at 11:00 a.m. at Church of the Incarnation, 550 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Living Room Center, 636 Cherry Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, www.thelivingroomsc.org.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 14 to Mar. 15, 2013