Bob Ross, 62, tragically passed away on September 7, 2010 in an airplane crash in Baxter County, Arkansas along with his son, Michael Ross. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joyce, and his two children: Laura Salerno, husband Chris and daughter Natalie, and Matthew, wife, Joanne. His sister, Sharon Sleva resides in Westville, Illinois with her husband John.
Bob grew up in Westville, Illinois. He later moved to Indianapolis to pursue his passion for aviation. There he met and married Joyce before moving out to Caifornia. Bob graduated from Southwest Airlines as an AMP mechanic in Dallas, Texas. He worked at Reed Hill View Airport, San Jose, in 1975 where he learned how to rebuild small aircrafts. He then worked at United Airlines in 1976 and later became an inspector until he retired in 2003.
He continued to work in aviation and found his niche in Watsonville where he got his private pilot's license. He worked as an A&P mechanic inspector throughout the Bay Area. Over the years his clientele continued to grow as his reputation for solid work and his love of aviation drew many to his business. In 2002, he bought United Flight Services with a vision to expand the business and fleet. His recent project was to build a hangar to protect mechanics from the wind and rain.
While his untimely passing came too soon, his vision is incomplete. His family loves him and many will miss his big heart and dedication to keep others safe while flying. If only we could have done the same for him.
A memorial mass will be held at Holy Cross Church, Santa Cruz on September 27th at 10 am with a reception following in the Parish hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Pajaro Valley Aviation Academy PVAA Scholarship Fund, 60 Aviation Way, Watsonville Airport, Watsonville, CA 95076.