Dr. Michael "Mick"
Wadsworth, OH

Dr. Michael “Mick” Ross, 79, of Wadsworth, Ohio passed away peacefully on March 31st. He was born and raised in in rural central Pennsylvania, the youngest of six children. He met his wife, Tomasena Bowser at Tussey Mountain High School in 1962. They married on his birthday, September 3rd, in 1967 and he rarely forgot an anniversary in those 56 years. He was a loving and loyal father of three and Pappy to seven grandchildren.

He earned an undergraduate degree at Shippensburg State College and worked as a public school teacher before earning his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University. In 1973, he moved west with his wife and two young children to begin his career teaching in the Department of Counseling and Special Education at The University of Akron. His professional activities centered on serving adults and young people with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Ross was an innovator in creating early programs for integrating those with disabilities into mainstream society. He was a cofounder of Ardmore, Inc., a member of their board of directors for over a decade, and he supervised many student teachers. He was an award-winning educator, serving as Chair of the College of Education faculty and being named as the University’s Outstanding Instructor of the Year in 1993. He was awarded the prestigious Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1995.

After retiring from UA, he started his own financial services business, Creative Wealth Associates. He worked longer hours and wore more ties as a financial guy; however, he remained an educator at heart as he helped his clients understand investment strategies and planning for their future. He sold that business in 2020 to enjoy a real retirement.

Mick enjoyed sports and was an avid Nittany Lions fans, attending many games in State College during Joe Paterno’s reign. He enjoyed college and high school sports, especially when his children or grandchildren were playing. He loved going to the gym, and many will remember him lifting weights in his garage and doing pull-ups on the kids’ jungle gym, all while wearing his dress socks and sporty shorts. Although sports and physical fitness were his passions, he also enthusiastically attended many theater and dance performances over the years as well. He was beyond proud of his family, and together with his wife, they traveled all over Northeast Ohio to attend games and performances.

Mick was truly one of the nicest people on the planet. He “didn’t sweat the small stuff” and he spent his life in service to others whether through his professional activities, coaching sports, or offering his time to Trinity United Church of Christ. He had a gift of gab, and could talk to anyone, especially about the weather or sports. He was fastidious about lawn care, always serviced his cars on time and generally took great care of all the people in his orbit. He had a distinctly dad sense of humor, took to repeating himself often in his older years, and was fond of “resting his eyes” in his chair. If you knew him at all, he probably gave you a nickname because that was one of his love languages. He will be remembered as a compassionate, generous, joyful, and kind man.

He was preceded in death by his parents and all but one of his siblings. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and love of his life, wife Tomasena (Bowser); children Matt (Wendy) Ross, Jodi (Frank) Henderson-Ross, and Michael (Lauren) Ross; grandchildren Jacob Ross, Connor Ross, Mikaia Ross, Parker Ross, Campbell Ross, Paige Ross, and Taelin Henderson-Ross.

Calling Hours will be 1-3pm, directly followed by a Celebration of Life service on April 12th at Trinity United Church of Christ, 215 High St, Wadsworth Ohio, 44281. The family requests no flowers. Donations may be made in memory of Michael Ross to Trinity United Church of Christ in Wadsworth, Ohio.