James J. Ross

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YORK James J. "Coach" Ross, 77, was called home Saturday, March 23, 2013, from the York Hospital. He was the husband of Elsie E. (Wilson) Ross, with whom he celebrated 42 years of marriage. Born January 25, 1936, in Elmira, N.Y., to the late Henry A. and Priscilla (Stiles) Ross, he attended St. Michaels School for Boys in Hoben Heights, Pa., and graduated valedictorian of his class in 1955. James joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956 and was stationed at Camp Lejuene, N.C., where he reached the rank of Sergeant E-4. He was also camp cook while in the service, and later picked to play football for the Marines where he was an end and halfback. He was featured in Leatherneck Magazine because of his skill on the gridiron. James received his Honorable Discharge in 1965. He relocated to York, where he worked for Harley Davidson as a chef. He loved to cook and catered many events. He was also an avid sports fan and enjoyed playing softball, but his passion for football led him to become a coach for the Central Penn Midget Football League's South York Warriors little league team. His unique military style of coaching was often compared to Vince Lombardi of Green Bay Packers fame, and earned him the nickname "Lombardi. He was Head Coach of the Rinks squad for 20 years and served as coach with the South York Warriors for 42 years. He led his teams to numerous division and league championships and was inducted into the Central Penn Midget Football League Hall of Fame for his years of service. Former York Mayor William Althaus awarded him with a commendation for his work with the Warriors. Coach Ross was recognized by many, many organizations in the community throughout the years for his dedication and service to children. These awards are too numerous to name. In addition to coaching with South York, Coach Ross also served as a coach for the York Bears. He was member of the Charles E. Williams Post #794, American Legion #127, and a lifetime member of Veterans Post #35. Coach Ross was a fixture in the York community and was known for his trademark orange and white South York shirts and his ever present orange COACH hat. In addition to his wife, Elsie, he leaves to continue his legacy daughters, Kimberlee R. Wilson-Ross (Philip J. Armstrong) and Damita J. Wilson, both of York; three sons, Eugene J. Ross (Cheryl) of Avoca, Pa., James J. Ross, Jr. of Scranton, and Edward J. Ross (Cindy) of Wilkes Barre; a sister, Julia Hooks of Elmira, N.Y.; brothers, Melvin Ross of Binghamton, N.Y., and William Ross of Elmira, N.Y.; a cherished granddaughter, Nakiyah D. Wilson; a host of other grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins from both the Ross and Wilson families; as well as scores of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Shirley Ellis; and brothers, Charles, Thomas and Joseph Ross. Coach Ross' life and death has impacted many people and he will be deeply missed. Homegoing Services will be held Saturday, March 30, 2013, at Emmanuel Church of God, 925 E. Princess St., York. The viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m. with services following at 11 a.m. The Rev. Adrian Boxley will officiate. The repass will be at Community Progress Council , 221 E. College Ave., York. Burial will be private with military honors for just the family at Fort Indiantown Gap on Monday, April 1, 2013. Arrangements have been entrusted to Gladfelter Funeral Home, York.
Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on Mar. 27, 2013
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