Father Bill Ross died Feb. 27 in Oklahoma City, surrounded by his family. He was age 87.
Father Ross was born on Sept. 2, 1927, in Chickasha, the fifth of seven children born to Henry and Marie (Decker) Ross. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1954, at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa. Father Ross attended Saint Joseph’s Academy, Chickasha; Saint Benedict College, Atchison, Kan.; Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; and the University of San Francisco.
During his more than 60 years of faithful and caring ministry to the people of Oklahoma, he served at Christ the King Church, Tulsa; Saint Thomas More, Norman; Sacred Heart, Oklahoma City; Saint Charles Borromeo, Oklahoma City; and Our Lady of Victory, Purcell, where he retired in 2003. Since his “retirement,” he served at Saint Eugene, Oklahoma City.
Father Ross also led or served in many archdiocesan offices, boards and councils, including the Council of Priests, the Archdiocesan Personnel Board and as a Regional Vicar. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Archdiocesan Review Board and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Response Team. Father Ross served in the U.S. Navy and later in the U.S. Air Force. He was a Reserve Chaplain, Lt. Col., for the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
Father Ross was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Joseph R. Ross, and the Rev. James Ross and his sisters Mary Ann Doak and Janet Volzer. He is survived by his brother Walter Ross of El Reno and sister Helen Von Feldt, of Philadelphia.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Saint Eugene in Oklahoma City on March 4 with interment at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Catholic Charities or the fund for a new rectory at Saint Eugene.