Former Lady’s Island resident Joseph E. Ross, 99, died November 25, 2015 at Country Meadows in York, PA. He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Louise “Shay” Ross, who died in 2000.
Born Joseph Edwin Roszykiewicz (the family later changed their last name to Ross) on April 23, 1916 in Duryea, PA, he was the son of Julius and Edith (Ratajski) Roszykiewicz. He had five brothers and two sisters, all deceased.
Joe graduated from high school in Detroit, MI in 1935, worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps, was employed by Chrysler Corp., and did a brief stint in the US Army before enlisting in the US Navy in 1941. After boot camp, he trained as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate at Norfolk, VA, where he was retained as an assistant instructor. In 1943, he was accepted for flight training as an enlisted aviator. He was awarded his naval aviator wings in August of 1944, and there followed an interesting career in US Naval aviation, with assignments all over the United States, Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean, and the Pacific.
In 1954, while serving as a test pilot at NAF Litchfield Park, AZ, Joe met and married 1st LT Louise I. Shea of Willimantic, CT, who was in charge of recruiting women in the state of Arizona for the Women’s Army Corps. After the birth of their first child (Timothy) in 1955, Joe was reassigned to NAS Barber’s Point, in the Territory of Hawaii, where children Robert and Kathryn were born. In 1959 Joe was reassigned to his last duty station at NAS El Centro, CA. In 1964 Joe retired and moved with Shay and the kids to a farm in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Around 1985, he and Shay relocated to Royal Pines on Lady’s Island, Beaufort, SC. An avid golfer, Joe was two-time Club Champion at the Montrose (PA) Country Club, and golfed well into his eighties at the Lady’s Island Country Club. Joe was a lifelong music lover, playing the accordion and piano, and accompanying himself singing on the guitar. He was a member of the Masons in Montrose, PA, and the Silver Eagles Association (US Navy, Marine and Coast Guard pilots who flew as enlisted men). He was a 5500 hour pilot who flew around thirty different aircraft types during his military career.
In his nineties, Joe moved to Stewartstown, PA, where he lived with his son Tim’s family for several years, and then to Country Meadows of Leader Heights in York, PA.
Joe is survived by his three children, Timothy J. Ross (wife Kathleen Ross) of Stewartstown PA, Robert A. Ross of Gainesville, FL and Kathryn M. (Ross) French of Summerville, SC, and five grandchildren, Jessica (French) Almquist, Lauren K. Ross, Megan N. Ross, Adeline L. Ross and Ian T. Ross.
A graveside ceremony will be held at the Beaufort National Cemetery on Dec. 31st at 11:00 a.m.