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Anthony M. Ross 1925-2021

GIRARD — Anthony M. “Buster” Ross, 96, of Girard, passed away Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, at Shepherd of the Valley.

Chief Ross was born Feb. 23, 1925, to John and Mary Ferrick Ross. He attended St. Rose Elementary School and Girard High School and had achievements in sports in his curriculum. Chief Ross excelled in football as a star running back and played the catcher’s position in the AA Mahoning County baseball league for many years.

He received his draft notice at the age of 18, while a senior at Girard High School; he opted to serve his country over deferment in May 1943. On his return home in 1946, he was awarded his high school diploma. Chief Anthony M. Ross served in World War II in Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, Sixth Armored Division and Fifth Infantry. During his enlistment, he received the following honors: Infantry combat badge, four bronze battle stars awarded for meritorious service in ground combat against the armed enemy, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Ardennes, Central Europe, Rhineland, the Good Conduct medal, the Victory medal, Sharpshooter’s medal and an honorable discharge. After crossing over the river from Luxemburg into Germany and crossing the Siegfried Line, Chief Ross spent eight hours in a foxhole manning a .30-caliber air-cooled machine gun. After being relieved in the morning, he returned to camp. While cleaning his weapon and trying to change his socks, a medic spotted his feet, which were dark blue and swollen. Chief Ross was ordered off his feet and on to a litter. He was later airlifted out of Luxemburg to the 92 general hospitals in Paris, France. He was later sent to Hereford, England, and spent one month recuperating from a severe case of frostbite and trench foot. When he returned to his unit in Germany, the war in Europe had ended. Buster was proud to be a member of Gen. Patton’s Third Army where he attained the rank of corporal at discharge.

The chief met Marie Ciminero and made her his loving wife on June 16, 1951, at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Niles. They were married for 68 years. In 1954, Chief Ross was appointed to the Girard Police Department. He was Girard’s first juvenile officer, where he not only organized the juvenile program but contributed to area communities by giving talks to high school students and organizations concerning drugs and juvenile delinquency; he was promoted to captain of the Girard Police Department in 1960 and became chief in 1973, until his retirement in 2005. While a police officer, he served the community in other areas by coaching various baseball and football teams, which were very successful. Even more importantly, he was instrumental in saving the life of a young girl.

Along with his speeches, he put on various singing shows for charitable and fundraising organizations, free of charge. In the mid-1970s, Pittsburgh’s KDKA Channel 2 did a half-hour show profiling his career. On April 26, 2004, Chief Ross was presented a resolution from Girard City Council stating the following, “This council both personally and collectively, and on behalf of the good citizens of Girard, express their deep appreciation and thanks to police Chief Anthony ‘Buster’ Ross for his 50 years of faithful and devoted services to the City of Girard as a police officer and as a citizen.”

Chief Ross was a life member of the third and fourth degree Knights of Columbus, VFW, American Legion, International Chiefs Association, Ohio Chiefs Association and local Fraternal Order of Police. Chief Ross’s favorite quote, which hung on the wall behind his desk was, “When it’s all over, it’s not who you were, what you did or how much money you had, it’s whether you touched anyone and made a difference.” Anthony Michael always had a special place in his heart for the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Ursuline Sisters. Time spent with them was so precious and rewarding; he always appreciated their “love” and “prayers.”

Buster is survived by his sisters, Virginia and Suzanne Coates; brother-in-law, Fred Coates; sister-in-law, John’s wife, Stephanie Ross; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Buster was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 68 years, Marie, who passed on Oct. 14, 2020; brother, John Ross; and his nephew, Mark Zalac.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at St. Rose Church, where the family will receive friends and family 10:30 a.m. until the time of service. Buster will be laid to rest with military honors, in Girard City Cemetery, immediately following the service.

The family would like to thank the staff of Shepherd of the Valley and Dr. Ravi and staff, for the exceptional care that was given to Buster.

Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to view this obituary and to send any expressions of sympathy to the family.

(special notice)