American Veteran 01

Lt. Col. James D. Ross, U S Air Force, Ret.

October 22, 1935 ~ August 6, 2021 (age 85)


Age 85, of Mt. Lebanon; surrounded by his loving family on Friday, August 6, 2021.  Beloved husband for 62 years of Harriet J. (Blanning) Ross; devoted father of Brian (Cheryl), Michael (Linda) and William (Kimberly) Ross; proud grandfather of Katherine, Emily, Savannah, Daniel and Aidan; son of the late Wirt and Jane Ross; brother of Larry (Patty), the late Wirt and twin sister Judy (Ken) Honderich; treasured brother-in-law of Lynne Blanning, Elsa Jane Weislogel (Lee) and Joleyne Colby (Dale).

Born October 22, 1935, in Erie, PA, Jim graduated as president of his class at Allegheny College in 1958, where he also served as ROTC commander.

He entered the Air Force in 1959, spent 20 years serving our country as a pilot, primarily with the Strategic Air Command (SAC), where he was responsible for creating air defense plans in the event of nuclear war.  While at SAC, Jim also served as a flight crew evaluator.

Awarded the Air Force Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement.  Earned the Bronze Star for flying the C-7 Caribou in combat in Vietnam. Jim also flew KC-135s out of Thailand to refuel fighter jets. He flew a total of 231 combat sorties in Vietnam.  Jim was also awarded many other commendations during his career.

After his retirement from the Air Force, Jim completed his master’s degree in human resources management from LaRoche University in Pittsburgh, PA.

He started the next phase of his career as the human resources manager at Schneider Engineering.  Later he worked for Von Roll Waste Management Technology in Liverpool, OH, also as human resources manager, after which he attempted to retire.  Having failed at that, Jim returned to the workforce as the human resource manager at Chris Candies, in Pittsburgh, until 1990.

Always an outdoor enthusiast, Jim shared his great love of nature with his wife, his sons and later his grandchildren. He was a devoted, kind, caring, generous, helpful and loving man, with quick wit and much fun to be with. Jim will be mourned deeply and missed greatly.

A life-long Presbyterian, Jim was a 40-year member of the Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon, serving as a deacon and elder and lending his beautiful voice to the choir.

Friends will be received at Sunset Hills Presbyterian Church on Friday morning August 13th  from 11:00 until Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 12 noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you may wish to consider a contribution to the Memorial Fund of the Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church, 900 Country Club Drive, Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228 or to the charitable organization of your choice.

Laughlin Cremation & Funeral Tributes

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Celebration of Life
August 13, 2021

12:00 PM
Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church
900 Country Club Drive
Pittsburgh - Mount Lebanon, PA 15228

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