Kenneth M. Ross III
Labor Day Sept 7, 2020 Kenneth M Ross III 73, lovingly also known as "Sandy, Kenny, The Captain, Papa, and Dude" labored his last duty.
Born Jan 21, 1947, in Washington D.C. to Yvonne and Kenneth Ross Jr. Ken is survived by his three children Adam, Nicolette (Mrs. Sal Rianna) & Holly (Mrs. James McCain), four grandchildren (Rogan, Ross, Luke and Senya) and numerous nieces/nephews. He was the eldest brother to Carol V Ross (Mrs Webb Ellis), Mitchell K. Ross, Scott N. Ross, and Laurie C Ross (Mrs Duane Lidman).
After many moves around the world being a "Navy Brat" he found his final home state in 1964. Upon graduating from Tempe Union High School in 1965, Ken voluntarily enlisted the United States Marine Corps. He served two tours in the Vietnam War.
Upon return from war he continued his government service by working at the Tempe USPS. Ken's work ethic was beyond reproach. Over 48 years of service never taking a sick day is a feat unheard of. Retirement would have been an easy option 8 years ago, but Ken loved his job and his co-workers too much to even consider. The same devotion to his government service was also present in his faith never missing a single Sunday Mass.
Ken was always ready to lend a hand. Over the years he has donated gallons of plasma and blood to his local blood bank. As an avid collector and restorer of cars and member of Antique Car Club he enjoyed fixing and providing free maintenance to family & friends. If anyone needed help moving, Ken had the trailer, muscle, and backbone to assist you. A pizza and cheap beer was always adequate payment.
Of all his duties, raising three kids as a single father and surrogate father figure to many of their friends was his most gratifying labor and one of real devotion. If you were between jobs, rehabilitation, schools, homes, or just in need there was always a room at his place. Ken was a wonderful Papa. He received great joy holding his 3 grandsons as babies. He would staring lovingly in their eyes, then make a silly face to elicit laughter from them. Taking the grandkids to the zoo and lifting them over the lions den for a better view became a tradition.
Ken loved animals, especially dogs. His furry family members were a source of constant companionship and rewarded him with the same unwavering loyalty that he shared with his family and friends. He enjoyed Family Game Night especially LCR and always had a funny contribution for word games. His reliability and consistency even in routine labor was widely renowned. He helped maintain many lawns and relished in yard work referring to it as "cross training" and how he kept fit. He was uncomplicated in his needs. A trusty beer coozie, threadbare Harley hat, worn flip flops, and a Cardinals Game were a testament to the fact that life's simplest pleasures were most enjoyable to him.
A note in his handwriting was found on his desk with the quote:
"The older we get, the more clear it becomes, that loving and being loved are the only really important things in life."
Ken knew what was important in life, for he was so loved and his love for others was immeasurable.
And so "Captain", as you man the helm sailing into the heavens above your own father would have made this Navy toast for you embarking on this new voyage: "May you have fair winds, following seas and Godspeed."
You will forever be missed.
Funeral services will be streamed live and may be access by visiting https://www.resurrectionaz.org/funerals
which links to our YouTube channel and Facebook page. More information is available on this site.
In lieu of flowers donations in his name can be made to the blood services at https://www.vitalant.org/Donate/Donate-Funds.aspx